It would take 76 days to read the average Ts and Cs we accept online. This series explores how we could take a different approach and make legal documents readable again.
We’re sponsoring the Legal Design Geek conference in London this October. Legal design is all about putting users first: as Margaret Hagan says, “focusing on the humans within the legal system.” We asked design gurus to take a look at some user-unfriendly legal processes - and how a design approach might improve them. This is the first in a series - stay tuned for more.
Hi! Who are you?
Richard Mabey, founder and CEO of Juro. A genuine legal design geek.
What is an example of a legal document or process that isn’t user-friendly?
The privacy notice.
What’s wrong with it?
And what does that mean for the user?
They almost never read it. In fact, a study from Carnegie Mellon suggested that if a person was actually to read all of the privacy notices they have been shown in their life, it would take on average 76 days. Forget the jargon, forget the length - people just don't engage and they are forgiven for that.
That doesn’t sound good. How would we want them to feel?
More than this, privacy notices should be positive, engaging documents that make people feel comforted, and that their data is protected, and that the business in question is processing it in accordance with the law and with reassuring safeguards in place. It shouldn’t feel like it often comes across - a lawyerly exercise in ass-covering.
So in an ideal world, how would we start if we built it from scratch?
How might it look different?
And how would the experience be different for the user?
What would we need to make it a reality?
You need some legal help for sure, but that's not all. You need to have an attitude to try things and iterate, to listen to the target audience of the document and to ensure that while it’s legally watertight, it’s also readable and engaging. This is a tall order and it takes hard work and dedication but the impact it can make on your customers, employees and suppliers (incidentally the most important people in your business) is significant.