Case Study: New UI for increased usability and searchability of EU law frameworkNew UI for increased usability and searchability of EU law framework EurLex.
EUR-Lex provides free access, in the 24 official EU languages, to: the authentic Official Journal of the European Union, a collection of EU law (EU treaties, directives, regulations, decisions, consolidated legislation, etc.), preparatory documents (legislative proposals, reports, green and white papers, etc.) EU case-law (judgments, orders, etc.), international agreements, EFTA documents, summaries of EU legislation, which put legal acts into a policy context, explained in plain language and a series of other public documents.
EurLex is an integral part of European Union proceedings. As User Interface demands change from time to time, Eurlex ought to adjust to a modern visual style. Major target was a major improvement of the provided search functionalities additional functionality for an extended classifications system, in an ever growing database of content.
The European Union in its wide variety of interface points with the wider public seeks to implement new and improved user interfaces. The base challenge is to keep up with the advances in Information Technology and aesthetically changing aspects of interacting with the public and information seekers. Not only is all information published in 27 Languages, but the content has to be easily searchable in the full spectrum of languages. The client seeks on a regular basis to improve navigation, searchability, thus improving Customer Experience.
The main challenge was to create a vision for the re-design. After understanding core-features, the design team threw themselves into creating a visual language for the problem at hand.
When implementing a significant update in User Experience the demand for improved navigation is high. Especially on a prestigious client as the European Union, we had to wireframe the overall navigation and tear the process into smaller steps, which then at a later stage could be re-assembled into an easy to follow and logical flow.
We started work on a few screens at the beginning, establishing a uniform design system, which could be uniform across the entire web presence. Each element we designed became part of a syle-guide, which helped us in creating a set of modular components, a form of a library!
The design uses the content-out principles, as opposed to box-in. As mentioned before, we tried to abstract components and stack them into a library of re-usable placeholders. Instead of sticking to a grid, we were using the content as our measurement, as opposed to using a fixed grid. After defining a certain amount of white-space around elements, the rest of the design took shape organically around the charts, tables and rest of the content.
One of the challenges which we had to figure out was the usage of colour schemas. While remaining under strict color ranges prescribed by the EU, we had to be careful in selecting a color scheme that would highlight content. With tons of charts, graphs, and text-based content, we researched best practices to build an appealing User Interface, to be used by millions of people.
Value delivered by CodeCoda
As the Websites of the European Union are undergoing frequent change and improvement, every design in use is an evolution of the previous one.
Design in this context is a process, which makes use of user data. We feel that the process of designing and improving on the EurLex website has beside improving the website, also improved on our own understanding of heavily data-driven websites.