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ALM Relaunches VerdictSearch Database Platform

Dynamic search and instant result counts among several upgrades.



Michael Rondon By Michael Rondon
10/23/2012

ALM’s legal research and reporting brand VerdictSearch has relaunched its search platform in an effort to ease the discovery process for its consumers.

The new system features dynamic searching, instant result counts and interactive post-search filtering, to go along with a redesigned user interface. 

“I’m not aware of any other legal product out there that includes dynamic search the way that we’ve developed it,” says Ron Spinner, director of VerdictSearch. “I think when it comes to a database similar to the size of ours, what we’ve found in the feedback from a lot of customers, is that [users] are often confronted with spending a lot of time and hours just going through the result set, as opposed to being aware of the results on the front-end or on the back-end through post-search filtering.”

Realtime feedback on specific terms and predesignated dropdown categories tells users exactly how many results a particular query will show before the search is actually executed, while the post-search filtering allows users to refine their search without having to start over.

The new model “considerably” improves search times, according to Spinner. His team conducted several rounds of research before finalizing the system, including focus group analysis, one-on-one contextual walkthroughs, and usability testing.

“We got a number of users to come back for each [one-hour] session so we got a really good insights into how they were using our old product and also how they would use our new product,” he says. “They were a big part of the process of designing this product.”

VerdictSearch’s previous platform was a traditional model relying on Boolean operators and field searches to deliver thousands of results that required a significantly greater amount of manual sifting by the user.

That prior version will be accessible until November 16 as subscribers migrate to the new platform. VerdictSearch is also offering demo videos and instructional webinars to ease the transition.

Development of the new platform started in April and was handled in-house by a team of 15 to 20 ALM employees, Spinner says. While he could not put a price tag on the effort, he does say it represented a “fairly large undertaking” for the company.

Content creation will remain the same on the back-end for VerdictSearch’s 25-plus-member editorial staff, as the new system was built around the existing proprietary taxonomies. That means all archived content will be fully compatible with the new search options as well.

Annual subscriptions for VerdictSearch start at $1495.

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Michael Rondon By Michael Rondon
10/23/2012







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