Court Online Services Redesign


The Court offers online services that allow attorneys and litigants to schedule hearings and upload documents. This system is vital to the functioning of the court and administering justice.

Problem: The current system has an outdated interface that is confusing for the user, non-responsive and not ADA compliant. The poor design creates a large influx of user inquiries and help tickets. Also users avoid using the system and resort to paper filings and phone calls to schedule hearings. The system flow is also disorganized and inconsistent.

Goal: A redesign of the interface will increase usability and decrease complaints and help tickets. Therefore reducing the amount of developer time spent answering user complaints. A new user-friendly design will increase the use of the application by attorneys, the public and staff which in turn helps the increase the efficiency of the court. Also organizing the services within the system will aid the user in finding access to the services they need.

Issues and Solutions

The following areas need to be improved to create a better experience for our users.


ISSUE: The navigation is inconsistent and unusual (specifically all the buttons being at the bottom of the page). It is best to following standards that appear across the web.

SOLUTION: Move navigation to the top and left hand column of the screen. Navigation would be consistent from page to page other than items that change based on login status and the court type of the case selected (which appear in the left menu). A menu that gives access to most if not all options would give the user quick access to the items they need.

ISSUE: Button (link) labeling such as “Law Firm Portal” and “OLS Home” do not correspond well to the pages within the site (for instance pro-se users do not have a law firm and OLS Home is a listing of services available).

SOLUTION: Change labeling of the various sections to text that is more descriptive of the content within.

ISSUE: Lack of organization for related pages.

SOLUTION: Organize related pages into the sections as follows

  1. Login/Registration
  2. Account information
  3. Services
    • Scheduling
    • Document submission
  4. Other Services (currently Mediation Scheduling)

Comments on Site Structure

To better organize the content and features in the application create two top-tier sections: Services and Account. Account would contain all of the features related to the user’s specific account management features such as updating profiles, registering for e-service and resetting the password. In addition the account area would include any listings related to the user’s account such as watch lists, firm’s events and submitted documents. These items are unrelated to specific cases and do not require the user to enter a case number.

The second section, Services, would include any action a user can take concerning a case. This is broken down into scheduling and document submission. Scheduling is anything to do with hearings including items such as scheduling UMCs and looking up Confirmed Hearings. Document submission involves items such as proposed orders, e-courtesy and evidence. Services, requires the user to enter a case number

Other features that are available to the user include case look-up and changing the case they are currently in which will be accessible through menu items at the top of the screen.

Redesign Plan


Navigation will be moved to the top and would include the links below. The menu would include a series of icons that become easily recognizable over time and save experienced users time when looking for a service. The help icon would be red to draw attention to it, icons will appear blue when it is the active area. The Look-Up Case and Change Case icons are grey and separated as they are not frequently used.

  • Home (previously Law Firm Portal)
  • Help
  • Account
  • Logout
  • Services* (previously OLS home)
  • Look Up Case*
    • This would now be available on each page (after case number entry) so that users may access it at any time.
  • Change Case*
    • This doesn’t relate to the selected case and should lead the user back to the welcome screen where they can enter a different number.
      *(appears once the user has entered a case number)

Left Menu

A menu would be added in the left column with links to the various services available and items specific to the user such as the watch list. This menu would be retractable so that it can be hidden when a user needs more screen real estate to view the data. This is accomplished by clicking on the ‘hamburger’ menu icon. The menu would include a series of icons that become easily recognizable over time and save experienced users time when looking for a service. The items in the menu would vary depending on the services available for the case number entered.

Identifying Text

Within the services page the entered case number and corresponding division will appear to the right of the menu column. Under the horizontal menu on the right the name of the user (or law firm will appear). At the bottom of the page will be links to the 15th Judicial Circuit’s website and CourtHelp4U YouTube channel.

Login Page

The login page has two sections; user login and user registration/account management. The registration options are displayed as a form where the user selects the type of user they are and it will take them to the correct registration page. These options are:

  • As attorney
  • As law firm supporter
  • As self-represented or pro hac vice attorney

Account management options include:

  • Confirm and Activate Account
  • Request a Confirmation code
  • Password Reset Code
  • Reset Your Password

Registration Page

The registration page would be altered depending up the type of user being registered (as selected on the login page). For attorneys there is a bar number field that once completed will fill out the registration form with the account information from the bar’s records.

Account Page

The Account page will include information specific to the user such as their contact information. From this screen the user will be able to view information that relates to their events and documentation. In the current OLS some of these items appear on pages after a case number is submitted but do not seem to relate to the specific case. So we will move them to an account page that the user can access without first entering a case number.

These include:

  • Add Email Address
  • Link Email Address
  • Update Profile
  • Reset Password
  • [My] Scheduled Events
  • [My] Firm’s Events
  • [My] Case Watch List
  • View [My] Documents

Welcome/Home page

The welcome page (which is linked to the home icon/text in the navigation) is where the user enters a case number to begin using the services for that case. There also are links to other services. Currently Mediation Scheduling is the only other service on OLS.

Services Page

Once the user has entered a case the services page would connect them to any service available for that court type. The services are separated into two categories: scheduling and submitting documents.

Examples of scheduling services:

  • Available Times
  • UMC Scheduling
  • Request a Special Set Hearing
  • Request an Uncontested Summary Judgment Hearing

Examples of submitting documents services:

  • Order from Template
  • Proposed Order
  • E-Courtesy
  • Electronic Evidence


These are just ideas that came to mind as I was working through the application. I think these would improve the experience for the user.

Logging In

The failed login screen would include a link to “Resend Confirmation Code” or “Trouble logging in”. The second link would be instructions concerning resetting their password and including the text below:

Why did I not receive my confirmation code?
Confirmation emails are sent to the email address we have on file. If you have changed law firms recently but not changed your email address with our system it may be the code is being sent to your previous email address. If this is the case you will need to contact us so that your account can be removed. Then after the bar number is confirmed, you will be able to re-register with our system.

E-Courtesy issue with users uploading orders

When users click on e-Courtesy place a pop-up instructing them not to upload proposed orders through it. This forces the user to read these instructions prior to submitting the document.

Available Hearings Page

On the list of available hearings make it so the user selects a hearing from the list and then proceeds to the scheduling page.