Literacy levels are lowProgress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS) 2006 Russian Federation Hong Kong SAR Canada, Alberta Singapore, Italy Germany USA England New Zealand France Poland Belgium Norway RomaniaTrinidad and Tobago Indonesia Morocco South Africa 250 300 350 400 450 500 550
A typical clause Disclaimer Save for our company being liable to you – • under the Consumer Protection Act 68 of 2008 (“CPA”) in relation to any products sold us to you via the Website; and • under sections 43(5) and 43(6) of the ECT Act in relation to our payment systems not being sufficiently secure, Neither our company nor any of its agents or representatives shall be liable for any damage, loss or liability of whatsoever nature arising from the use or inability to use this Website or the services or content provided from and through this Website. Furthermore, our company makes no representations or warranties, implied or otherwise, that, amongst others, the content and technology available from this Website are free from errors or omissions or that the service will be 100% uninterrupted and error free. You are encouraged to report any possible malfunctions and errors via email.
Tick this box if you agree with the terms andconditions.**We know you won’t click here, and if you do, you won’tbe able to wade through 10 pages of Web-unfriendlylegalese.And by the way, the terms and conditions are ouragreement, not anything else on the site.
What we have now is not okay• We have at best carelessly, at worst, misleadingly, transferred offline to online.• (It’s easier to hide things online?)
What we have now is not ok.• Business reasons: reputational damage• Brand reasons: unprofessionalism• Ethical reasons: unfair and misleading (scenarios)• Legal reasons: imprecise and, in fact, often illegal• If the UX community does not start engaging, things will get worse. The remit of legal content is growing with protectionist laws.
The showdown with the legal departmentSo how do we change this
Focus on what we can agreeWhat we have now isnot okay.
The corporate lawyer... • Loves law but is not • Does not love change idealistic • Does not love technology • Loves criticism • Does not see the forest • Loves the trees (not the forest)Reference: Cheryl Stephens, 2012
General principles• Have a lawyer by your side• Meet the litigation attorney• Respect the legalities, not the legalese• Use the laws related to UX – you are the experts at implementing them: – Plain Writing Act (US) – Consumer Protection Act (SA) – Consumer codes (EU)• Use mobile as a catalyst What if, in 10 years’ time...
Workflow Governance Substance StructureWorkflow• At the start, give them the opportunity to explain the intention of the laws to you• Put legal brief at the start, legal review at the end• Give more checkpoints, not less• If you are not succeeding, break up your process into smaller steps with smaller chunks Keep moving
Workflow Governance Substance StructureGovernanceGive them a role, and they will play it. You are only allowed to review where we are exposing the company to risk. You are not reviewing tone.
Workflow Governance Substance StructureSubstanceUnderstand the ingredients. There is no such thing as boilerplate.
Workflow Governance Substance StructureStructure• Structure is the hard part• If you have a tough audience, try to present structure after you have presented and signed off some detail• Customise content as you need to (you will have to argue for this)
Conclusion: legal content is content• ‘Legal content’ is a meaningless phrase... Talk about what you have to tell your consumer from a business, brand, ethical and legal perspective• Legal content is part of your user experience, if not at the time of purchase, later, if things go wrong• Create scenarios not only for now, but also long term
Frances Gordon | email@example.com | @Simplified_SA
References and acknowledgements• Cheryl Stephens: How to get lawyers to use plain language and be cooperative , Journal #66, Clarity International• Content quad of Brain Traffic (slide 45) is at http://blog.braintraffic.com/2012/07/from-the- archive-brain-traffic-lands-the-quad/• Michele Sohn (Spoke) designed this presentation• Candice Burt (Simplified) contributed content• Copyright belongs to Simplified