Request for Proposals: Building UX Design and User Testing Capacity within the Legal Services Community through Training, Consultation, and Mentoring

Date Posted: 
Monday, July 6, 2020

Legal Services Corporation TIG #19039; Grantee: Michigan Advocacy Program


The Michigan Advocacy Program (MAP) issues this RFP to hire a consultant who will help legal services community content creators improve their UX design and user testing skills so they can build highly usable guided interviews and other online tools.

MAP’s vision for this project is for a consultant to improve the UX design of legal aid programs’ online content and increase user testing expertise within the legal aid technology community. The consultant will help develop this expertise through direct content review and feedback; a formal training program; supervision of a user testing experience with a project partner cohort; and sharing project learnings with the wider legal services community.

This project has four main objectives:

  1. Provide UX expert review of online tools designed/created by 8-12 legal aid partners to improve the usability of existing tools and increase UX design expertise within the legal services community.
  2. Create and deliver to a group of 8-12 legal aid partners a ten-week training module on UX design and user testing for online tools to improve the usability of future tools and increase UX design and user testing expertise within the legal services community.
  3. Host a day-long user testing event where 8-12 legal aid partners, under the supervision and direction of UX experts, engage in user testing of their online tools and analyze their findings.
  4. Compile educational materials and learnings from all stages of the project into a best practices report and participate in at least one national training webinar or conference panel.

The overarching goal of this project is to increase the level of UX design and user testing expertise within legal services organizations across the country. Legal aid programs often understand the need to do user testing and focus on UX, but few have formal training or resources available to consult with experts. In addition to improving the quality of individual tools through this project, a community of legal aid staff with experience and expertise in UX design and user testing would be available to conduct training for the benefit of other members of the community and provide sample materials and one-on-one assistance for years to come.


The Michigan Advocacy Program (MAP) is a non-profit organization that provides free legal assistance to qualifying individuals in thirteen counties in Michigan and farmworkers across the state, and provides administrative services to statewide programs including the Michigan Poverty Law Program (MPLP), the Michigan Immigrant Rights Center, the Michigan Elder Justice Initiative, the Crime Victims Legal Assistance Program, and the Michigan Legal Help Program (MLHP). MAP has been a leader in utilizing technology in a meaningful way, especially through its partnership with MPLP, which provides statewide technology support for legal services programs, and through its partnership with MLHP, which provides statewide services to self-represented litigants through the Michigan Legal Help website. MAP seeks to use this LSC TIG to create resources that will help other programs create highly effective and usable tools through engaging in user testing and learning how to create better user design.


The legal services community creates guided interviews and other online tools that are an essential part of identifying and triaging a layperson’s potential legal problem. These tools help individuals understand where they are in the legal process and what steps they should take to navigate their legal issue. These online tools are typically created by subject matter experts who understand all the legal issues a layperson or user might face; however, these legal experts are typically not usability experts. This lack of usability expertise often results in tools that are too long, written at too high a grade level, and use overly complex terminology and processes. Great technology cannot meet its potential if the underlying content is confusing for the user.

Many of these problems are solvable by technical analysis tools like WriteClearly, but a usability analysis is still necessary. A user experience reviewer could provide feedback about the flow and order of questions presented to a user; give clear guidance about questions that should be broken up, combined, moved, etc; and help simplify language and processes.

Legal Aid staff with UX expertise could also introduce behavioral decision making insights into the development of online tools. These insights would help better design tools that drive users to a preferred path or goal. For example, if there are two paths available to a litigant to receive a protective order and both result in a similar outcome, a usability expert could help design the tool in a way that helps a litigant navigate to the more appropriate solution. In the civil legal space, there can be many paths to get to a particular outcome, but not all are equal in the resources necessary to reach the outcome. Good UX design not only makes for more user-friendly tools but improves users’ ability to properly diagnose their legal issues and solutions.

This project will utilize an expert consultant to increase the UX expertise of legal services providers, thus helping to fill the need for improved online legal tool usability. This work will be completed through the four objectives outlined above: a) expert review of tools submitted by project partners; b) offering a ten-week UX design and User Testing training for project partners; c) holding a day-long user testing event, offering expert guidance to project partners in live user testing and analysis of results; and d) sharing results with national community via creation of a best practices report and delivery of at least two national webinars or conference panels (to be done by consultant and/or MAP staff).


Proposals are due by 5pm (EST) on 7/20/20 and a vendor will be selected by 7/31/20. Work on this project should begin by 8/17/20 at the latest and all work must be completed according to the Milestones attached as Exhibit A.

Our maximum budget for this contractor is $85,000. Payment will be made in four installments as agreed-upon milestones are met. Proposals should be “total cost” bids covering all responsibilities for the project as described above and in the Milestones attached as Exhibit A.


All work done on this project is “work for hire” and all intellectual property rights shall be owned by MAP, its successors and assigns.

DEADLINE: Proposals must be delivered to Angela Tripp by email at no later than 5 p.m. (EST) on 7/20/20. All proposals must use the proposal format outlined in this RFP.


  1. Introduction/executive summary, including your understanding of the project purpose, vision, and objectives and recommendations for how to complete this project most successfully.
  2. Describe your approach to fulfilling the requirements of this project. Please provide a high-level outline for the ten-week training course, and explain how many hours of review/feedback you plan to spend with each program participating in the expert review phase of the project.
  3. Detailed timeline to execute the project according to the deadlines in Exhibit A.
  4. Project Budget Estimates and Cost Projections, including:
    • A breakdown of all costs associated with the project
    • Identification of any additional expenses, fees, etc. that you will require to complete the project
  5. Company or Agency Profile, including:
    • Background, capabilities, experience with working with the legal services technology community, experience with preparing instructional guides, experience with delivering online training modules, and other relevant experience/skills
    • Customer communication and evaluation procedures
    • Examples of similar instructional materials you have produced in the past (if any)
  6. Provide two (2) references (with phone and email contact) for other similar projects you have completed or participated in.
  7. The selected vendor must be willing to provide all training materials and the best practices report as a “work for hire” and to assign all right, title, and interest in and to the tool to MAP. If vendor has employees or proposes to use subcontractors for this project, vendor must affirm that all employees and subcontractors will be bound by this agreement. Proposals should indicate the company or entity’s understanding that this contract is for a “work for hire” and its agreement that vendor’s work product produced in its services and the creation of the tool shall be and at all times remain the exclusive property of MAP; that vendor will not sell, transfer, publish, disclose, or otherwise make the work product available to third parties without MAP’s prior written consent; and that with regard to any works that vendor acquires ownership of from third parties, vendor hereby irrevocably assigns to MAP all right, title, and interest (including any copyright) in such works in perpetuity. Please affirmatively state your willingness to do this.
  8. Provide resumes/CVs for all who will work on the project.
  9. All proposals must include a statement of authorization to bid signed by a principal of the bidding company.
  10. All proposals must use the proposal format outlined in this RFP. Bidders must disclose any relevant conflicts of interest and/or pending lawsuits.


This RFP will be released on 7/6/20. Proposals are due by 5:00 pm EST on 7/20/20.

Between now and then, we will respond to any questions you may have; please email inquiries to Angela Tripp at Our staff will review proposals, conduct interviews, and select a final vendor by 7/31/20, with work to begin shortly thereafter.

The selected vendor will be expected to enter into a contract with MAP. Vendors whose responses have not been selected for further negotiations or award will be notified via email.


  1. Costs of Preparing Responses: MAP will not pay any vendor costs associated with preparing responses submitted in response to this RFP.
  2. Responses Property of MAP: All responses, accompanying documentation and other materials submitted in response to this RFP shall become the property of MAP and will not be
  3. Proprietary Information/Public Disclosure: To the fullest extent possible, all responses received shall remain confidential.
  4. RFP Amendments/Cancellation/Reissue/Reopen: MAP reserves the right to change the RFP Schedule or issue amendments to this RFP at any time. MAP also reserves the right to cancel or reissue the RFP. All such actions will be posted on
  5. Minor Administrative Irregularities: MAP reserves the right to waive minor administrative irregularities contained in any response.
  6. Inability to Enter Contract: MAP reserves the right to eliminate from further consideration any vendor that MAP is unable to contract with at the time responses are due in accordance with the project timeline outlined above.
  7. No Obligation to Enter a Contract: The release of this RFP does not compel MAP to enter any contract. MAP reserves the right to refrain from contracting with any vendor that has responded to this RFP whether or not the vendor's response has been evaluated and whether or not the vendor has been determined to be qualified. Exercise of this reserved right does not affect MAP’s right to contract with any other vendor. MAP reserves the right to request an interview with any vendor and/or a demonstration from any vendor prior to entering a contract.
  8. Multiple Contracts: MAP reserves the right to enter contracts with more than one vendor as a result of this RFP.
  9. Non-Endorsement: The selection of a vendor pursuant to this RFP does not constitute an endorsement of the vendor's services. The vendor agrees to make no reference to MAP in any literature, promotional material, brochures, sales presentations, or the like without MAP’s express written consent.
  10. Contract Payment Limitations: The contract may provide for periodic payments based on completion of agreed upon milestones. Vendors should anticipate payment at the end of the invoice period in which they provide services or after they submit any deliverable for which a payment is due.



Exhibit A: Contractor Milestones

By 8/31/20:

  1. Assist MAP in selecting training and expert review cohort members.
  2. Submit final outline of UX design and user testing training program.

By 9/30/2020:

  1. Final draft of training materials prepared.
  2. Conduct expert review of selected guided interviews and other web applications.

By 12/31/2020:

  1. Based on expert review of guided interviews/web applications/tools, give feedback to legal aid organizations submitting these tools.
  2. Conduct ten-week UX design and user testing training to selected training cohort (suggested timeframe: October 5, 2020 – December 18, 2020).
  3. Gather feedback from UX design/User testing training cohort on value of the training and gather feedback from expert review cohort on review services.

By 6/30/2021:

  1. Assist in coordination of one-day, multi-partner user testing event. Timing of event TBD; timing may extend contract and final payment to include participation in this event.
  2. Participate in at least one national webinar or panel at a national conference on UX design or user testing for guided interviews/web applications.
  3. Prepare and release a best practices report for online tool UX design and user testing based on findings and interactions throughout the project.
  4. Assist MAP in promoting the best practices report throughout the legal services community and gathering feedback on utility of the report.
  5. Assist MAP in collecting data described in the project evaluation plan.