All About Design
*Please note, this content is informational, and not legal advice.
The information below primarily applies to the United States.
Human-centered and Accessible
Human-centered design teaches us that when we listen to and observe what a wide range of people need, we’ll build a better product and have better fit to the market.
The principles of universal design can help us with this process.
Check out the User-Informed Legal Design: A Practical Guide from the Legal Services National Technology Assistance Project for more details.
The National Association of Court Management has a plain language guide which you may find helpful.
UR with Ashley Treni
Ashley Treni talks about the benefit of user research and some ways to engage in user research.
UX, UI, Design, Oh my!
Margaret Hagan’s Law By Design describes the design process in a way that we think is accessible to lawyers, but also other professions, too.
“Product design is the process of identifying a market opportunity, clearly defining the problem, developing a proper solution for that problem and validating the solution with real users.” – A Comprehensive Guide To Product Design
UX ox “User experience” is every aspect of someone’s interactions with your products, services, and business. From when someone first learns of your product through marketing or word of mouth, to the process of acquiring it, to using it (the UI or “user interface”), to any customer service or troubleshooting, until they stop using it (if ever) and everything else in between.
Data Privacy & Security By Design
All companies have data that they need to protect.
Design privacy and security into your product from the beginning.
Your Users’ Privacy
Data Privacy is a competitive edge in today’s economy, and you should think about the privacy of your users from day one. You will inevitably collect data about your customers, but be intentional to only collect what you need and when you need it.
Protecting Users’ Data
Data security is about protecting the data you’ve collected; as you grow your business, your data security practices will also need to grow and change.
Data security matters in a pitch as well as in the procurement process, and it can impact the valuation of your company. Being able to speak intelligently about data security with potential customers and potential investors matters to the success of your company.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) offers tips on privacy and security in their business center.
Design Your Company: Legal Papers
Once you have validated your idea enough to know that there is a potential business or non-profit, you’ll want to think about getting the necessary legal paperwork in order.
One mistake that lawyer-entrepreneurs in legal tech sometimes make is that they think that since they are a lawyer, they don’t need to hire someone or seek outside counsel when starting their business.
Finding a good startup attorney is important early on in your business. We don’t provide legal advice at the Duke Law Tech Lab, but we regularly connect startups with the legal support they need.
An attorney may be helpful…
- when leaving your current job
- in selecting the best way to incorporate your company
- in protecting assets (intellectual property, financial, or human)
- when creating or signing contracts or agreements with clients/customers, service providers, etc.
- in understanding relevant regulations and laws, including data privacy and security
- when considering investments, such as a SAFE (Simple Agreement for Future Equity)
If you cannot afford an attorney, you may qualify for free help, like through the Duke Law Start-Up Ventures Clinic.
No idea what startup paperwork looks like? Two resources to get you started:
- Document generator from LathamDrive for basic incorporation and and founder documents.
- Sample standard forms used for early stage financings developed at Cooley – originally based on the National Venture Capital Association (NVCA)’s model documents.
- Free templates on OpenLaw.
Jesse Okiror, Founder and CEO of Suprabook, shares his experience incorporating his company.