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 records.
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. A primary target was a significant 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 broader 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 regularly 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 working on a few screens at the beginning, establishing a design system that is uniform across the entire web presence. Each element that we designed became part of a style-guide, which helped us create 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 stacked them into a library of re-usable placeholders. Instead of sticking to a grid, we used the content as our measurement. After defining a certain amount of white-space around elements, the remainder of the design was shaped organically around the charts, tables, and rest of the core content.
One of the challenges that we had to figure out was the usage of color schemas. While remaining under strict color ranges prescribed by the EU, we had to be careful in selecting a scheme that highlights content. With tons of charts, graphs, and text-based content, we researched best practices to build an appealing User Interface that eventually would 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 employs user data. We feel that the process of designing and improving on the EurLex, besides enhancing the website, also bettered our understanding of heavily data-driven websites.