User research for digital transformation
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer
As one of the largest law magic circle firms in the world, with offices around the globe, the people at Freshfields need to work with each other and their clients across time zones and jurisdictions seamlessly. To this end, Freshfields has started a Digital Transformation that includes a programme to modernise its end user ecosystem, devices and tools and thereby enable new ways of working. Paper was engaged to carry out the user research to inform the design of this new ecosystem.
First we designed and published a global survey to try and understand the range of people working at Freshfields so that we could prioritise who we needed to interview. Over 900 people responded which demonstrated the massive appetite for change in the organisation.
Then we designed our user research. We had a short amount of time so we split into two teams (bringing in Adrian Frost from ideasmiths), one team travelling to Frankfurt, and New York, the other team went to Brussels and Hong Kong, and both teams did analysis in London and Manchester. We also researched using video conferencing with Singapore, Tokyo, Beijing, and Washington.
Stitching the research back together we produced insights into issues people have with technology, where there are frustrations and usability issues, how changes in the sector are creating new business needs, and areas where the culture and governance of the organisation conflicted with technology use. The user stories generated by this work then informed the solution designs.
7 delivery teams are all working with the user stories from our research to prioritise tasks and qualify if the user needs have been met.
The research also formed part of a successful business case to invest over £12 million in new technology over the next 12 months.
Michael Paulson, Freshfields Global Head of Digital Transformation, said, 'Paper delivered high quality and comprehensive research in very challenging timescales which is now proving to be invaluable to us.