Use: general legal advice in the UK.
The Citizens Advice website is a UK-based resource offering general legal information to users (Smith, 2019). Citizens Advice has conducted extensive research and analysis into why people use the online service, what information they need and how best that information can be presented to them (Citizens Advice, 2016). It has been noted that this website has clearly devoted a lot of attention to ensuring the clarity of information provided on the website (Smith, 2017). The website is also continually being adapted and modified (Smith, 2017). This reflects the flexibility that is important for an innovation to have in order to suitably meet the fast-changing needs of users.
The website homepage has a search bar where users can type key words to find results relevant to their legal issue (Citizens Advice, 2020). There is also a pop-out where the user can see what other people are searching at that time (Citizens Advice, 2020). This is an interesting feature and may act to boost trust and transparency in the service. Under the topic headings, the user can access specific advice on a range of topics with ‘top links’ being provided to the most popular sub-headings (Citizens Advice, 2020). This is helpful for users that may not know where to start or how to identify information that is relevant to them.
The website offers the user a range of support options including web chat and phone advice (Citizens Advice Bristol, 2020).
The tools and content on the website are designed with an understanding of user behaviour and are tested to determine their accessibility (Citizens Advice, 2016). Linking with this, the organisation set up the Citizens Advice Innovation Lab in late 2019 to give them space to work on innovations that can support what they offer (Simmons, 2019). This provides a separate space away from urgent client demands purely dedicated to exploring innovations in the justice sector (Simmons, 2019). Considering the limitations public services face in terms of funding and resources, this is a positive step towards implementing innovations.
1. Smith, R. (2019) Annual Report Summer 2019: The Digital Delivery of Legal Services to people on low incomes. The Legal Education Foundation. Available from: www.thelegaleducationfoundation.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/Digital-Technology-Summer-2019.pdf [Accessed 12 April 2020].
2. Citizens Advice (2016) Digital Capability Report [online]. CitizensAdvice.org.uk. Available from: https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/Global/Public/Impact/Digitalcapabilityreport_final_July%20%283%29.pdf [Accessed 14 April 2020].
3. Smith, R. (2017) Make Haste Slowly. New Law Journal [online]. 167 NLJ 7758. p. 6. [Accessed 13th April 2020].
4. Citizens Advice (2020) CitizensAdvice.org.uk [online]. Available from: https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/ [Accessed 14 April 2020].
5. Simmons, K. (2019) How we’re exploring the future of Citizens Advice [online]. CitizensAdvice.org.uk. Available from: https://wearecitizensadvice.org.uk/how-were-exploring-the-future-of-citizens-advice-fa59dd86e2ee [Accessed 14 April 2020].