The Strategy Maker family of tools is for a user in the legal system to make better decisions about how to proceed in a situation with many possible paths. Ideally, the tools in the Strategy Maker pattern should support the user in making an informed & wise decision for unique case. Within the Strategy Maker pattern, there are tools that allow users to make calculations, assessments, and predictions — all in service of helping her choose the best path for her from various options.
Use a Strategy maker tool when a user is weighing options, as they choose what decision to make in their situation. The tool can help them during this planning stage, to see what outcomes might spin out from the different choices they could take.
The value of these tools is in helping people to think through many scenarios, weigh their options, and see more long-term outcomes. One of the main barriers lay people express as they consider whether & how to engage legal help is ‘not knowing what I don’t know’ and ‘not being able to think through all the possible options’. People routinely express that they don’t want to pursue a legal course of action, because they’re not sure if it is comparatively the best fit for their situation & their goals.
Can we in the legal community build better tools, interventions, services that help people envision what consequences (short & long term, legal and otherwise) might result from different legal paths they take? Even if these envisionings aren’t perfectly accurate, if they help a person get a better overview of ‘what they don’t know they don’t know’ and start to play around with their preferences & resulting scenarios — they can go a long way in encouraging smarter decision-making.
Valuable functions of the Strategy Maker
- Help the user to know which path will best protect their interest
- Once on the path, help the user to make specific choices in each set of actions, that are in her best interest
- Help the user weigh different options that are open to her
- Inform the user with non-obvious information, data, consults, advice about what she should know when making the decision — what causality links exist — what patterns exist — how the system actually works
- Let the user feed in information and get a reaction
- Customize the legal rules to her situation
Strategy-Making Tools are interactive, customizable ways for a person to figure out how taking a certain action might play out. They allow a person to enter in her personal data (or an imagined version of it) and her preferences, and then it shows her potential outcomes that may result from different legal paths.
User flow of the Strategy Maker
User flow of the Strategy Maker
Tools in this pattern help the user to make an informed, customized decision, by supporting her to:
- understand what options she has in her legal situation
- understand what various trade-offs are involved in these different options
- give weight to the different decision-making factors
- decide how these factors & options apply to her unique situation
- form a strategy to pursue a certain option, after having applied and weighed the factors to her case
There are many different models for strategy maker tools.
Ideas for future strategy makers
- Give Strategy calculator that lays out all the different input factors the user should be paying attention to, and lets her put certain values and weights on the different factors, and then delivers her a suggested piece of advice based on her input
- Provide predictive models based on smart analysis. Draw these models from:
- Big data sets on outcomes of other cases
- Review of multiple court files
- Videotape analysis of body language
- Crowdsourced reporting of process & results, cause and effect