Why do I have a project from 2009 in my portfolio? Because this project was the first true web application I worked on. After desktop software, when things were moving to the web, there was a period of time where things were meant to feel like desktop applications even if they were technically built with web technologies. Adobe AIR is a technology that comes to mind. But this project was different. This one was meant to be a true web application.
Researching this project was fun. I worked at HumanCentric at the time and LexisNexis set us up with some of their customers. We visited lawyers, specifically solo practitioners, to learn how they worked, how they managed their work, and what tools they used. As you can imagine, the workflows were all over the map.
Over time, the concept of Matters became our organizing principle for the application. Because solo practitioners are optimizing for billable hours, every meeting, court appearance, or case filing needs to be associated with a legal matter in order to be properly billed. In addition to Matters, we showed our research participants enough functionality around billing, contacts, and calendars to keep them from jumping between different tools.