The Consumerization of User Experience (UX)

ux imageI’ve spoken before about the importance of user experience (UX) design associated with the development of applications that support knowledge management initiatives and efforts.  And in fact, I’m scheduled to discuss the topic again as a part of ILTA’s presentation track at LegalTech NY in 2014.  As I ponder this topic, and as I write a section about UX in my forthcoming book about KM in the legal profession, I am reminded of the idea that I presented in my first talk about UX: that we are undergoing a phenomenon that I call the “consumerization of user experience.”

This idea is similar to the familiar phrase “consumerization of IT,” Read more

iPads at ILTA (they were everywhere)

This post is cross-published at iPad4Legal.

There was no doubt in my mind that there would be many, many iPads floating around the Aria Hotel and Casino at the 2010 ILTA Conference.  We saw the writing on the wall in the days and weeks before the conference when it seemed like almost every vendor offered a chance to win one of the magical devices if you stopped by their booth in the exhibit hall.

What I did not expect to see was the huge number of pre-prize iPads in the clutches of what seemed like every fourth or fifth conference-goer.  I’m sure my estimates are a little off, but suffice to say that iPads were everywhere. Read more

Lawyers with iPads: Steven Butler

Shortly after the launch of Apple’s iPad, I wondered (on Twitter) if lawyers were using them. Steven Butler (aka @DisabilityGuy) responded enthusiastically, “I have an iPad and I am already using it in my practice. Working great for reviewing client files.” Of course, I had to talk to him.

Butler is a Social Security Disability lawyer with Linarducci & Butler, PA in Delaware, and he’s clearly an early adopter when it comes to technology. Before the iPad, he tried using a tablet PC, but without a multi-touch screen, it “felt unnatural because you have to rely on a stylus.” The iPad’s stylus-free approach “feels like the right way to do things,” Butler told me, “It requires no learning curve; it’s so simple.”

A Perfect Fit

The iPad is perfect for Butler because the Social Security Administration (SSA) provides all claim files electronically, in TIFF format.  He uses an application from Atlasware to convert the huge SSA TIFF files (many are up to 1,500 pages long) into a single PDF for each matter. Before this paperless approach…

Read the rest at iPad4Legal

What Do You Mean, “No Computers”?

Note: This post is cross-posted in my new blog, iPad4Legal, which I co-publish with Michael Aginsky.  In fact, you can continue reading this post there.  And follow iPad4Legal on Twitter.

On a recent visit to my favorite local coffee shop, I pulled out my netbook (this was before I got my iPad) to do a little surfing.  The server told me that they had instituted a new policy: No Computers.  The strange thing is that this place had previously embraced the ‘net crowd (or at least I thought it did because they offered free WiFi).

They Giveth and they Taketh Away

How strange: free WiFi, but no computers allowed.  I understand why they implemented this new policy: they didn’t want me buying a $2 latte and occupying a seat for 4 hours.  Not good for business. If this catches on (as it may be), it may become an issue for virtual law office lawyers and mobile lawyers, like Niki Black, who — based on her tweets — often gets work done at coffee shops.  (Niki also writes about iPadding lawyers at Legal iPad).

What’s a Computer?

I was really devastated.  I loved that coffee shop — in part because of the free WiFi (they have good cappuccino, too).  My gut reaction to the news was, “Umm. OK. Can I use my iPhone?”  Thankfully, the answer was yes, so I used the WiFi to surf on that for a while.  And that got me thinking: What’s a computer?  My netbook (a Toshiba Mini NB205 Series 10.1-Inch Netbook (160GB Hard Drive) isn’t a “full powered” laptop, but it is definitely a computer.  My iPhone 3GS can do almost anything my netbook can do.  Why is it OK to surf on my iPhone, but not my netbook?  I’m still filling up a seat at a rate of fifty cents an hour.

At that point in time, I had already mentally committed to getting and iPad.  I just had to figure out if it as going to be the WiFi-only version or the WiFi+3G (I subsequently decided to get the 64GB WiFi-only version for reasons that I’ll probably write about).  But, prior to the big announcement about the iPad, I was considering an Amazon Kindle.  I never got one (the iPad obviated that for me), but that day at the coffee shop, I wondered: would they let me sit there with a Kindle?  I could read a book on one of those for hours and still slowly sip that latte.  For that matter, I could do the same thing with a paperback.

Of course, my current, real-life concern is whether they’ll let me use my new iPad while enjoying a cup of joe.  I haven’t been there since I acquired it, but I’ll keep you posted.  If challenged, I think my response will be, “This is not a computer, it’s a magical and revolutionary product at an unbelievable price.”  And what if I just use my iPad to read an iBook? (see Kindle issue above).  I’m so confused.

Are they Luddites?

Perhaps people tend to stay planted in coffee shop seats longer if they are surfing the web than when reading an old fashioned book (I haven’t done the research).  If that’s the case, then I get it.  If not, then what’s next: banning all devices and media?   Absent any evidence to the contrary, there is only one conclusion: coffee shop owners are a bunch of Luddites.

What do you make of all this?

Are you running into the same problems at your local caffeine supply place?  How will this  affect the mobile lawyer?  Perhaps more importantly, will judges start allowing iPads in their courtrooms?  The United States District Court for the Southern District of New York has started to allow personal electronic devices under certain conditions.  You can see Standing Order M10-468 In The Matter of Electronic Devices and General Purposes Computing Devices here (opens PDF).  It’s a start.

Knowledge Management, Technology & Social Media for Lawyers and Law Firms