Textured agreements

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.

Resources

A mock­up in PNG or PDF for­mat. This mock­up was de­vel­oped in Inkscape and was the start­ing point for the XHTML tem­plate below.

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.

Publications


Textured Agreements: Re-envisioning Electronic Consent [PDF]
Matthew Kay and Michael Terry. SOUPS 2010: Symposium On Usable Privacy and Security.

Poster


Textured Agreements: Re-envisioning Electronic Consent [Poster] [PDF Abstract]
Matthew Kay and Michael Terry. Poster presented at SOUPS 2009: Symposium On Usable Privacy and Security.