Fastcase 7 Launch Screen


Today Ed Walters, CEO of Fastcase provided me
with a preview of Fastcase 7. The overall design of Fastcase 7 is geared toward
exposing all of the Fastcase tools for discovery, analysis,  display and delivery. As illustrated in the
screenshots below. Fastcase 7  packs a
lot of design variety into a single screen. One of my early posts on  Fastcase “classic”  described it as a platform that allows lawyers
to “think outside the list.” Fastcase 7 is a platform which invites lawyers
into deep interaction with the content. Each screen has an amazing variety of
visually distinct displays which invite a researcher to explore their search
results in different ways.
According to Walters this is the first major
redesign since 2003.  Ed Walter feels
confident that Fastcase 7 will successfully compete toe to toe with Westlaw
Next, Lexis Advance and Bloomberg Law. I would be interested in seeing a
comparative test executed by and independent third party.
The New Launch Page uses colorful block
displays and exposes your recent searches, print queue and alerts. One box is devoted to “help.” Searches can be executed in the search box at the top of the launch screen.
Fastcase 7 Results screen
1. Exposing the Wow Feature. For the first time,
the original “wow” feature – the interactive timeline” automatically displays.
I completely agree with this move. The” interactive timeline” is so unique, no
one looks for something they don’t know exist.
2  The
New Wow Feature – The Semantic Cloud.
I can’t think of any other legal research
platform that displays a word cloud. According to Walters, it is a sematic
cloud, which displays concepts even if the exact term is not used in the case,
the case can be retrieved in the list retrieved by clicking on the concept.
3. Forecite – Fastcase’s algorithm identifies
relevant cases which are not retrieved by your search terms. Forecite results will
now display automatically in the side column.
4. Beyond Borders. Fastcase can now search
across multiple jurisdictions and multiple material types, (cases, AG opinions,
HeinOnline law reviews). Jurisdictions can be selected from “picklists” or
deselected on the fly.
5. Authority Check. Cite checking results will
display on screen without opening a new window. Results will automatically
display  relevant interactive timeline
and the” Bad Law Bot” results. Bad Law Bot which highlights cases with a
negative history  – Has an new icon.
6. Bottomless Pages. Never page forward again! I
am an incredibly impatient person. I despise waiting for the next page of
search results to load and display. In Fastcase 7 the entire results list
displays automatically, you never have to page forward and wait for results to
7. Aesthetic improvements. Like Steve jobs, Ed
Walters is a self proclaimed type-font nerd. Fastcase 7 uses the Kepler font
which  he believes is the optimal font for
reading text on a computer. Ed showed me
a side by side comparison of the page on Fastcase classic and Fastcase 7 …. And
I agree Kepler offers a dramatic improvement.
8.Search History – Now Includes date of search
and jurisdictions searched.
9.Send Feedback Button. Users can easily send
feedback from their search page. This is a feature which I am seeing on an
increasing number of research platforms. It makes complete sense to “crowd
source”  ideas for development or quickly
identify performance problems using real time user feedback rather than waiting
for a costly “ focus group.”
10. Printing and delivery of results. One of
the most common complains I hear about research platforms from research experts
is they don’t offer researchers the ability to
have a variety of options for printing an delivery. Fastcase offers
great flexibility and will allow searchers to deliver results in a zip file
either as individual documents or as a single pdf  containing multiple documents.
Fastcase 7 Case Display
When Can You Try It? Fastcase 7 will be in beta
for the next year. Over the next few months current subscribers will be invited
to get a special password which unlocks Fastcase 7 when they login to the classic
Fastcase platform.
See It At AALL.  Fastcase will also be providing demos to
attendees of the American Association of Law Libraries Conference in
Philadelphia July 18th 20th. They will no doubt get lots of feedback from that
audience of super-searchers!