The Good Things Foundation is a digital inclusion charity currently working on providing face to face digital support for the new online court system. Their work is incredibly relevant to this project as the people who are most likely to greatly benefit from online services will be heavy users of public services and these are the people that are most likely to be digitally excluded (Good Things Foundation, 2018). They have noted that the rise in digital by default services as a result of cuts in the justice sector has amplified the need for digital skills support (Good Things Foundation, 2019). This support can in turn benefit local services that may be under strain.
Research conducted by the charity indicates that motivation and mindset are significant barriers to engagement with the digital world and that more needs to be done to engage with digitally excluded people in order to reassure them that risks in relation to privacy and safety can be addressed (Good Things Foundation, 2018). There is also an indication that relatable case studies help users to feel trust in online services and boost their motivation to access online services themselves (Good Things Foundation, 2018).
Learn My Way is their online learning platform for digital skills. It has courses for the basics of digital use such as using a computer and sending emails as well as guidance on specific legal issues.
For example, there is an online course on how to apply for Universal Credit. The course provides detailed information about what Universal Credit is, how to apply for it and a tool to determine if it right for the user. Applications such as this may help to take the pressure off of pro bono providers in the preliminary stages of the user exploring a legal issue as the information is laid out clearly and users are signposted to resources that are appropriate to them.
In their research, it was noted that service design needs to consider appropriate touch points in an innovation where people can be supported (Goods Things Foundation, 2019). The portals on Learn My Way provide further links to relevant resources and support services which provide the user with clear support options should they need it. This is important to note when considering how to achieve a balance between implementing new technologies in the justice sector and providing the personal interaction that users crave.
1. Good Things Foundation (2018) A Blueprint for a 100% Digitally Included Nation [online]. Good Things Foundation. Available from: https://www.goodthingsfoundation.org/sites/default/files/digital_bluprint_v9.pdf [Accessed 4 April].
2. Good Things Foundation (2019) Powering up: how more people, communities and businesses can participate in the digital economy [online]. Good Things Foundation. Available from: https://www.goodthingsfoundation.org/sites/default/files/power-up_report_final_web.pdf [Accessed 3 April 2020].
3. Good Things Foundation (2020) LearnMyWay.com [online]. Available from: www.learnmyway.com[Accessed 4 April].