The Importance of UI and Why It Matters to Lawyers
What is UI?
A User Interface, or UI, is the series of visual elements that you interact with in a software program such as buttons, icons, screens, and pages. All of these elements contribute to the functionality and usability of the application. A successful UI has to be equally appealing to the eye and easily navigable, especially for those who would not consider themselves “techies” (perhaps this sounds like someone you know?). A well-designed interface can shorten the learning curve of an application, helping you perform tasks easier and faster without wasting billable time. For this very reason, some of the country’s most gifted designers, lawyers and technologists have been collaborating to apply legal design and innovation to legal products and services.
UI and Zola Suite
It goes without saying that in order to get everyone in the firm from the most tech-savvy to those who are less comfortable with technology to successfully adopt legal practice management software, the program needs a lawyer-friendly interface. At Zola Suite, our development and design teams work together to make sure our modern UI is uncluttered and easy to follow. Our use of buttons, icons and colors were carefully chosen to allow for easy integration and navigation around the platform. Here are some examples:
- Color-coding helps to identify each feature within Zola Suite. For instance, Matter functions will always have a purple bar above them or a purple briefcase icon. When you receive an email (labeled in blue) from a matter-related contact, a purple briefcase will appear with the name of the matter.
- A purple stripe on the left hand of a field means that it is required.
- A clock symbol will always mean add time, no matter which section you are reviewing.
- Additional information can easily be added on every page or within a particular section with the use of the + icon. You can quickly add a new contact, task or calendar event.
- Wherever you see a ˅ icon on the search bar, it means that you can perform an Advanced Search for more specific data.
- The three vertical dots mean “and wait, there’s more.” Hovering over this symbol, you can easily see added features for that particular section.
- When creating a Note or drafting an email, the Rich Text Editor can be used to create bulleted lists, anchors and even links to enhance formatting.
Once you start to notice the difference a well-executed UI makes, it’s hard to go back to using software that was created by and for coders, not lawyers.