When I started my fellowship in October 2020, the Civil Rights Team (CRT) at the Department of Justice had just launched their new flagship product, the Civil Rights Reporting Portal. The experience was designed to allow anyone, anywhere, easily file a report of a rights violation from their mobile device (or computer.) There was still a lot of work to be done on the site including improving the workflow for the 11 unique offices and their administrators, whose job it is to review and respond to every single report. With thousands of reports coming in weekly, it was especially important to ensure their experience improved their efficiency and allowed them to spend more time responding to the public in meaningful ways, than navigating a difficult system.
At the same time, the team was interested in adding additional features including multi-language support and better, faster responses. They were also interested in how the experience fared with the public, post-launch. Did it provide the information the public needed? Was it easy to use and understandable? Were there any gaps that still existed in the experience that we could fix?
Within the first 10 months of my fellowship working alongside the team, the portal has hosted over a quarter million visitors and allowed almost 100k reports to be quickly and easily filed. Reports are also filed uniformly, allowing all 11 offices to adhere to the same workflow, optimizing the experience for both public-facing and backend office administrators. This means visitors are able to utilize the least time-consuming and best experience for their needs, rather than trying to choose between one of 11 different forms to fill out, a huge win for the team! In short, users have been impressed with the ability to connect to the DOJ Civil Rights Division in a way they never imagined and experience has set the bar for how the entirety of the Department of Justice handles public-facing needs.
46% reduction in report filing to report closing time *
Sample Single Feature Impact
Optimizing email for admins has saved 1416 hours of response time or 177 staff days Designing response workflows for repeat visitors has saved 500 hours of response time or 62 staff days
35% increase in the number of incoming reports
~28 minutes to under 6 minutes for the average user to file a report
UX and Research Lead
(*) Best performing office for the first half of 2021. On average, the backlog processing time across all offices dropped more than 33%. The average processing time per report went from several weeks to 3 days.