Making the Unavoidable Enjoyable: Jury Duty sign-ups

by Nicole Ajamian

This post was written by Nicole Ajamian, a Fresh Tilled Soil Apprentice, in response to Challenge 1: Redesigning an Experience.

Target – Massachusetts Jury Duty Website:

After recently being summoned for Jury Duty, I could literally hear the MA Jury site calling out to be re-designed. If you clicked on the link, you’ll see some “straight-from-the-90’s” style, and text. A LOT of text. Besides the obvious design flaws, however, I was more focused on creating an overall better, more pleasant experience for someone responding to their summons. After all, it’s not the first place we’d choose to go.

The inherent problem with the user flow is this: Too many steps to sign in with your jury duty information, and one giant form filled with mountains of text (which is supposed to let you confirm, postpone, request transfer, or request disqualification, but all it does is confuse). It took me two tries through the form to find the tiny check box squished between rows of other tiny text, in order to postpone my service. Something needed to change here.

Inspiration:

For design inspiration, I drew from sites which have ONE call to action on the home page, because they know that’s why the users are there. Any other information is packed away neatly in the navigation or footer area. I’ve also seen a lot of dashboard functionalists which list out any primary tasks users would like to complete. Neat, organized, and the most important information is up front.

Summary of Goals:

I went for a very basic homepage with a sign-in modal and large image in the background. Once the user logs in, they come to a landing page which prompts them to choose a response to their jury duty, which means that there is no doubt as to what task they are actually performing. I then mocked up a version of what the Postpone Your Service page might look like:

Final Thoughts & Lessons: A few key take-aways from this exercise in better UX: Make the relevant information upfront for the user, so they’re not guessing as to which task they’re completing. Create an experience that’s friendly and takes into account that time is a valuable thing, so why not let the user know you care? And simplify, but not so much that there isn’t enough explanation or upfront information.

View the full-size interactive designs here! (Click on each image to navigate to the next).

About Fresh Tilled Soil

Fresh Tilled Soil is a Boston-based user interface and experience design firm focused on human centered digital design