csDISCO Multicolor Designations


csDISCO Multicolor Designations


This case study represents a comprehensive rework of highlight UI mechanics in DISCO’s Case Builder platform. The work will enable effective trial designations and a host of other complex litigation workflows. Far more than basic digital highlighting, this initiative represents a nuanced reinvention of a critical litigation workflow technique which otherwise hasn’t changed in the last sixty years.

Status of this work

As of Q1 2024, this feature set is in development. More details about this work will be shared publicly after the feature has been released. In the meantime, I’m happy to speak with interested parties to describe the collaborative, tactical methods my team has employed while conducting discovery, designing the feature, and beginning implementation.

Role and collaboration
  • I lead design for this initiative and the Case Builder product.
  • This initiative was cross-functionally derived—since then, I’ve driven this project’s research and design discovery alongside a team that includes product managers, engineers, legal domain experts, and a variety of other internal stakeholders.
  • Throughout discovery, I’ve engaged with users in various legal roles, working in law firms and litigation boutiques around the US, to conduct research that has shaped DISCO’s solution.

Key challenges

  • Although Case Builder has become a mature deposition management platform, it currently lacks some fundamental utility in the realm of highlights—complex multicolor highlights are an overdue but widely misunderstood product gap—and users possess strong biases about how they should work.
  • User needs have evolved alongside the product, outpacing the need for basic highlighting. Unlike most new feature sets, this one must serve a variety of complex use cases from the moment it ships.
  • Trial designations are identified, gathered, and manipulated using unique methods in any given court, district, state, and at the federal level throughout the US legal system—our solution must strike a balance between being opinionated with clear affordances, and highly flexible for diverse workflows.
  • Case Builder’s transcript viewer is a unique digital environment that scales in complexity as users progress through case strategy. Alongside annotations and other work product, users require layers of overlapping highlights—each tied to distinct work product, offering granular visibility control, and capable of being exported into an analog format for use at trial.
  • The front-end implementation of this feature will be driven by rendering logic that balances user needs against constraints of the current product state, our vision for this feature, industry requirements, and accessibility best practices.

Why does this work matter?

Impact of legal technology

Increasingly, the legal domain employs software-centered solutions in the practice of law to develop competitive edge. As the industry evolves, the evolution of legal technology has seismic impact on legal outcomes that shape modern litigation, politics, and broader society. Legal tech is incredibly important!

How this feature impacts legal outcomes

  • Designations are portions of deposition testimony that are played in the course of some trials, when witnesses don’t appear live (this can happen for a variety of reasons).
  • When preparing designations to exchange with another party, highlighted transcripts are the preferred (often mandated) format. Highlight colors are used to denote parties and designation types.
  • With the introduction of reimagined multicolor highlights, my team will usher in scalable and intuitive designation management in Case Builder. This will allow legal teams of all sizes to more effectively execute (and pivot within) a key stage of the litigation lifecycle—one that is often highly constrained by time.

More about Case Builder

Case Builder is DISCO’s cloud-based deposition management and case strategy platform. In the legal technology landscape, Case Builder is unparalleled in utility, boasting:

  • comprehensive depo management with collaborative tools for crafting detailed work product
  • AI-powered fact timeline generation for developing case strategy
  • integration with DISCO’s industry-leading Ediscovery platform
  • deposition video auto-transcription
  • comprehensive witness management

… and soon, much more.

Additional information coming soon

After this feature ships to customers, I’ll update this case study with additional details. In the meantime, I’m happy to discuss my involvement and expertise with interested parties. Thank you!