Rating Scale for Legal Startups

I realized that reviewing the features of a product does not tell readers how good a product is. Does it really solve any problems? Or is it just an alternative to all the technology that’s already out there? So, I decided to come up with a scale that tests just how innovative and useful are the products I review. This is what I came up with:

The perfect score is a 25. The rating scale is made up of 5 criteria, worth 5 points each:  (1) User Experience, (2) User Interface, (3) the Toothbrush Test, (4) Entertainment Value, and (5) the Disruptive Test.

User Experience (UX) or Ease of Use: If a product is not easy to use, then what’s the point of even having it? The goal is to make life easier, not more difficult for lawyers or the intended users.

User Interface (UI) or the Appearance: While a product may be fairly easy to use, if it looks like something from the 90’s, it may lose some of it’s credibility. I hate to say it, but looks are important.

The Toothbrush Test – Yes, I stole this from Larry Page. He uses the “toothbrush test” to determine whether a company is worth buying. He asks “is this something you will use once or twice a day, and does it make your life better?” If a product is not useful on a regular basis, then it’s not valuable. If it doesn’t solve a real problem and it’s not really necessary.

Entertainment value – It’s not just a matter of usability, but also entertainment. If I hate using the product, or if I’m bored, I will not use it. This may be a personal preference or something that’s only important to me, but if I go on your site and I take a deep breath because I’m about to use a product that bores me, it loses value. Personally, I get excited every time I open my contract management software; especially when there is an update. I love to see all the new features, and tinker around with it to see what the new improvements are and how I can use them to my advantage.

Disruption Test: The point of my blog is to review innovative products that are disrupting the legal industry. The point of this test is to see how innovative and groundbreaking the products are.  Is it just another version of what’s already out there? Is it something brand new and life-changing? Is it even noticeable? Will it do anything to move the legal industry forward, or is it just another tool we have to add to our belt and try to incorporate into our already busy lives?

Here’s the point system in detail:

UX – Ease of Use

5 – So easy to use, a 5-year-old can use it

4 – Good with minor improvements needed

3 – Needs some work

2 – Needs a lot of work

1 – I can’t use it

UI – Appearance

5 – This looks amazing. Clean lines. Legible. Organized.

4 – Looks great. Minor corrections needed

3 – Needs some work, but functions well

2 – Needs a makeover

1 – Too messy. Makes it difficult to use and understand.

Frequency of Use by Intended Users

5 – I need this every day

4 – I use it most days

3 – I use it as I need it

2 – I’ll use it a few times this year

1 – I’ll never use it

Entertainment Value

5 – Love it, can’t put it down. Tons of features.

4 – Keeps me interested most of the time. Has some good features.

3 – Not a whole lot to explore or keep me interested.

2 – I don’t hate it

1 – Yup, I hate it

Disruptive

5 – So disruptive, a lawsuit or angry publication is in your future

4 – You solved a problem and made someone angry

3 – Solves a problem, but not groundbreaking

2 – There may be something to it, but not quite sure

1 – Doesn’t really stand out or solve any problems

The next step is to rate all the products I already reviewed and the future ones. Stay tuned!