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Writing good questions

This guide is written to help authors designing "guided interviews", or interactive legal applications, for any platform.

It will help you understand:

  • which questions to include
  • how to write them well
  • how to group and organize them into screens
  • how to add supporting content, like next steps

We have tried to pull out a list of actionable tips, especially where those tips might be different in the context of guided interviews compared to more general guidance about good legal writing and good writing for forms.

We have also thought deeply about how to measure the burden that completing a form places on a user. You might find our section on form complexity helpful to read along with this section.

There's no substitute for usability testing

While the contents of this guide are expert guidance, gathered from both our own experience and that of experts in usability, there's no real substitute for observing the experiences of real users of your tool.

The Legal Tech Class has a brief primer on conducting your own usability tests. Usability testing can be simple, cheap, and easy!

  1. Plan to conduct just a few--you'll learn most of what you need after the third test, and gain almost nothing after a 5th test.
  2. Usability tests involve one user at a time, not a group.
  3. You can follow a simple script to do a usability test!
  4. Honorariums help. Be ready to pay people for their time.

Read more

Other content resources

Quick reads

Comprehensive style guides


Who contributed to this guide

Members of the Document Assembly Line team, especially:

  • Kate Barry
  • David Colarusso
  • Maeve MacGlinchey
  • Caroline Robinson
  • Quinten Steenhuis
  • Michelle