Putting a face to IllinoisLegalAid.org's anonymous users

Illinois Legal Aid Online (ILAO)

14 followers.

IllinoisLegalAid.org will be used by over 3 million people in 2020. With a average website session of just under two minutes, Illinois Legal Aid Online (ILAO) has little understanding of the impact it makes on its users. ILAO seeks to gain insights from its website user data about who it serves, how it serves them, and how it can improve its services.

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Volunteers are working on this project

Background and Motivation

Because Illinois Legal Aid Online (ILAO) is a mostly anonymous online resource, we do not know much about our users - who they are, what they seek, or how we help. Since 2014, ILAO has employed Google Analytics (GA) to evaluate IllinoisLegalAid.org’s use. The industry standard for tracking web metrics, GA provides significant information about who visits the site (audience), how they come to the site (acquisition), and how they interact with the site’s information and resources (user engagement and behavior). Yet, with an average website session of just under two minutes, ILAO has little understanding of the impact it makes on its users.

A grant in 2018 enabled us to pay for a subscription to Acquia Lift - a personalization platform that collects a bounty of data on individual website users and their behaviors. The platform’s reporting systems are inadequate to give us what we really want - insights into who we serve, how we serve them, and how we can better serve them.

Because we are a small organization, we do not have the capacity or expertise to conduct a comprehensive analysis of the data we hold. Our organization would benefit greatly from your help. The insights we learn from your analysis will propel us into our next phase of progress - one where we can deliver better services to our users, because, thanks to you, we will know who they are, what they need, and how we can best help.

This is a mission critical project. The first goal in our current strategic plan is, “Goal 1: Proven impact drives our innovation and focus. We demonstrate the positive change our work makes for people, leading to new approaches and better solutions.” Without a meaningful assessment of the data we hold, we cannot move forward in a strategic, tactical way. Our ultimate goals are to: - Understand the needs, goals, and motivations of ILAO’s users so that we can help them more effectively - Identify and communicate ILAO’s impact more effectively to donors, partners, and other external stakeholders - Prioritize areas to improve and grow, and identify features or services to deprecate to better allocate ILAO’s limited resources.

Project Description

Analyzing data for the Illinois Legal Aid Online website to better understand site users and their needs. At a high-level, the project will be to carry out a set of analyses that ILAO finds mission critical, through the use of fine-grained user data.

The goal of the project is to better understand who ILAO’s online users are and what ILAO is offering that is most helpful and least helpful to them. To date, ILAO has relied exclusively on anecdotal feedback, user interviews, and Google Analytics to patch together a profile of who uses it and how it helps.

Intended Impact

ILAO’s services and tools are designed for both motivated learners, who are considering taking action, and people in crisis, who may be thrust unwillingly into a situation that is beyond their control. ILAO seeks to help those facing the most daunting barriers to justice - money, education, language, and time/location. ILAO offers legal help aimed at lower-income people with civil legal problems in Illinois. ILAO helps people navigate sensitive legal problems like domestic abuse, divorce, debt, eviction, deportation and access to medical care. Most recently, problems focus on unemployment and food stamp benefits, child support changes, and money/debt problems.

This is a mission critical project. ILAO’s ultimate goals are to: - Understand the needs, goals, and motivations of ILAO’s users so that we can help them more effectively - Identify and communicate ILAO’s impact more effectively to donors, partners, and other external stakeholders - Prioritize areas to improve and grow, and identify features or services to deprecate to better allocate ILAO’s limited resources.

Internal Stakeholders

Gwen Daniels, Director of Product Development Amy Clark, Director of Strategic Partnerships Teri Ross, Executive Director

Internal People Available During the Project

Gwen Daniels, Director of Product Development Amy Clark, Director of Strategic Partnerships Teri Ross, Executive Director

Schedule
Start date: May 22, 2020
End date: Aug. 14, 2020

Project tasks

Project management 1
User data analysis 3
Project scoping 2 done_all