DEPARTMENT LEGAL RESEARCH CORNER
BY NORMAN WOOLWORTH
this month, Colorado Bar Association members will be
introduced to Casemaker4, the next-generation legal research
platform from Casemaker, which is a free CBA member
In creating Casemaker4, the Casemaker development team was presented with two overarching imperatives:
1.improve search speed, modernize the interface to enable more intuitive site navigation, and upgrade design responsiveness to better accommodate mobile devices; and
2. retain features and design elements that loyal Casemaker users value and trust, and minimize changes with the potential to disorient.
Put another way: Make it new. Make it better. But avoid change for change's sake.
Finding the Balance
"The history of platform redesigns across various industries is littered with examples of solutions in search of problems," said Dan McCade, Casemaker's chief information officer. "We were very conscious throughout the development process of only adding features that would matter to our users, and of not throwing out the baby with the bath water, so to speak."
To achieve the desired balance, the development team relied on several years of user feedback and incorporated refinements suggested through an extensive beta testing process, which included CBA representation. The result is a new and improved platform that remains reassuringly familiar.
Casemaker4features a clean and uncluttered layout, with all of the features CBA members previously enjoyed, along with faster search speeds, better search filter tools, and new functionality such as (type-ahead) searching. It is both W3C and ADA compliant and includes a much more responsive design for enhanced display on smaller devices.
Not every change to the new platform is visible to users. As McCade explained, Casemaker invested in significant "back end" enhancements.
"We have upgraded our load balancing and database clustering technologies," McCade said. "And then along with...