Re-envisioning electronic consent
Matthew Kay and Michael Terry
Less than 2% of people read software license agreements. Textured agreements use visual design to improve readability and compel people to read: instead of introducing additional summaries of the material, we augment and embellish the agreement itself. The use of visual variety throughout the agreements captures reader attention while information layering allows reading at various levels of detail. A laboratory study suggests that these visually enhanced agreements significantly increase reading time by an average of 30 seconds, from a baseline of essentially zero seconds.
A rough XHTML template to aid in adoption of the techniques. Please note: this template makes use of SVG and has only undergone limited testing in recent versions of Firefox and Opera; it is not guaranteed to work in all browsers. More refined templates are planned, including scripts for automatic generation of textured agreements in various forms.
Textured Agreements: Re-envisioning Electronic Consent [PDF]
Matthew Kay and Michael Terry. SOUPS 2010: Symposium On Usable Privacy and Security.