Innodata Develops Specifications for a New Online Product

Legal Publisher Asks Innodata Isogen to Help Develop an Online Version of a Popular Legal Compendium


A legal information services company, a subsidiary of a multinational publishing company, needed a detailed product specification and more than a dozen use cases to create a digital version of an enormous legal compendium in print.

The company is a relative latecomer to electronic products and this initiative was one of its first forays into online publishing.

The client chose an enormous, unwieldy tome that has provided valuable legal content to generations of corporate and insurance attorneys.

Bringing this product online would enable expanded functionality and easier access, and would thereby help boost revenues. And while the client wanted to take full advantage of the richness afforded by digital media, it needed help visualizing how the content should look and play online.

At the same time, the client was struggling with managing the project’s scope to meet a set of very aggressive deadlines. Their challenge to Innodata Isogen—take our concept and make it reality...

The Solution

When the client approached Innodata Isogen with this assignment, we had already helped them re-engineer key editorial and production work flows in a two-year engagement. They had a solid understanding of both the range of our digital publishing capabilities and the kinds of results to expect.

In this new engagement, we were able to deploy methodologies for designing and implementing online products developed and tested across scores of like assignments.

In just of a fraction of the time originally allotted, we helped this client crystallize their product vision into a production-grade, rapidly scalable proof of concept.


Over the course of three weeks, Innodata Isogen generated a complete set of specifications—encompassing everything from product features and functionality to the billing system.

Because our team consisted of legal publishing and technology experts,we were able to inform and facilitate a full range of critical discussions,and help build consensus about both the functional and technical requirements of the project.

We brought together subject matter experts and stakeholders to understand the current product, its content sources and user preferences — creating a gap analysis between current and future states. This helped the team begin to sort through and prioritize the product’s potential features and functionality. We translated various rough ideas into mock ups; then we blueprinted the specific logic of each feature and function.

Rather than complete this step in isolation, we created 15 use cases, or ways users and administrators could use the system. The use cases helped our team relate system behavior to user behavior and expectations, and also understand the value of certain functionality within the overall product and within a given context.

By the end of the engagement, we had also mapped out all the elements of this product’s entire content supply chain: content sources, content markup, content storage, content feeds, platform behavior, user interface design, transactional data management and administration,and customer tracking and billing.

Throughout the engagement, our team was also focused on the product launch deadline. We were able to understand which functionality was critical to the launch and which could be moved forward to later phases.


Our legal publishing and technical experts helped our client’s key stakeholders achieve consensus around a common vision — what they wanted and how they wanted it done. Our analysis and product roadmap also highlighted gaps in the thinking and helped our teams avoid costly mistakes, cost overruns and delays.

Moreover, this project was signal transformation for the venerable multinational publisher. We helped this client transform thoughts and theories into a scalable, production-ready proof of concept. And we helped them develop internal competencies that will support future print-to-digital initiatives.



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