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The Utah Online Dispute Resolution Platform: A Usability Evaluation and Report

Discourse Type: Policy Papers

This report contains findings and recommendations from usability testing of the State of Utah’s online dispute resolution (ODR) platform. Utah’s ODR platform is a web-based alternative dispute resolution tool that provides parties in small claims debt collection actions with an opportunity to resolve their cases online. The report includes results from a multi-phase testing process designed to engage the low-income community in the review and redesign of Utah’s ODR platform. All testing involved participants who were screened for demographic characteristics that aligned with national data on non-bank personal loan debtors. Two rounds of observation-based usability testing—the first with the existing, baseline platform and the second with a redesigned prototype—yielded data from a total of sixteen participants.

Baseline testing revealed that participants experienced significant difficulties with several components of the ODR process, from the summons to settlement. The testing results and the workshops informed the development of an ODR prototype created in Adobe XD, which was evaluated in a second round of observation-based usability testing. Based on the cumulative findings from all tests and workshops, the report recommends the following five changes, which will better align the platform to the needs of its users and facilitate a more successful ODR experience: (1) ease the transition from a paper summons to the platform; (2) streamline the registration process; (3) simplify document sharing and review; (4) improve the help modules; and (5) clarify legal information and user options.

Author(s): Stacy Butler et al.

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