Use visual design and interactive experiences, to transform how you present legal info to lay people




Our team at Legal Design Lab is using visual and interaction design to create new ways to communicate legal information.

We are particularly focused on how legal and government professionals can communicate better with the public — but we draw on all kinds of examples of communicating complex information, from science, to healthcare, to finances, and beyond.




Our Driving Hypothesis

You can design communications that are both legally strategic (for complying with regulations and protecting legal interests) and user-friendly (enhancing the lay person’s engagement with complex info, their comprehension of it, and their overall experience with the legal system).





Are you making your work product as effective as it can be?

While you craft  contracts, emails, memos, briefs, presentations, policies, legislation, or any other legal communication —  follow our principles to make them more powerful.

We are creating the design principles, strategies, and patterns to make these new, more effective types of communications.





Our Design Research Work

We are doing user research to understand not just how an individual document or policy can “look better” — but how it can be part of a larger service or system flow.

Our user research has shown that people go through a journey when dealing with legal communications — especially when they’re expected to decide how to act upon them.

How can you design a document to be less of a “text-dump” — just putting all the detailed information out there for a person to read — and more of a designed experience, that helps the reader make sense of the information, relate it to their own situation, and figure out how best to act in response to it?


More Resources from Legal Design Lab on Visual Law



Examples of Legal Communication Designs

Want to get inspiration about how you might make your complex info more approachable and actionable? We have collected together different existing models for you to browse through and figure out what might be applicable to you.

In true YouTube style, a YouTube user has made a straightforward, image-rich explainer video ...
Apple TOS redesigned: a concept proposal
Savannah College of Art and Design graduate Gregg Bernstein has a revised version of Apple's ...
Google Privacy control dashboard
Google offers its users the ability to see their own search history -- what Google ...
Terms & Conditions Change-Tracker
The project Terminos y Condiciones from Mallorca Spain is experimenting with new ways to help ...
Financial Privacy Notice for print
Another design from US regulators, this time for print-based notices about financial companies' privacy policies ...
Mortgage details and explainers
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has an array of designs to help people understand their ...
Online Financial Privacy Notice from US regulators
US regulators decided to set a standard for how financial companies can present their privacy ...
Parking Schedule design
A mock up of a better kind of Parking Schedule design from a designer in ...
This was Virgin Airline's mandated disclosure, as done as a music video, that I saw ...
Privacyville: Privacy Policy as game for Zynga
Zynga has a game-based privacy policy, PrivacyVille, in which each of the practices is located ...
Facebook Dinosaur Privacy Checkup
Facebook instituted some privacy checkups using a Blue Dinosaur as the mascot. The dinosaur asked ...
Bank Privacy Table
Here is a table design from Carnegie Mellon's Bank Privacy site. It provides a table ...
Aza Raskin’s privacy redesign project
The designer Aza Raskin tackled the design of privacy notifications & policies several years ago. ...
Codepen’s Privacy Policy
Codepen has a new privacy policy model, in which it lays out all the terms ...
Privicons project
The Background of the Privicons Project gives a wonderfully resourced summary of their privacy design ...
Legal Design Jam takes on Twitter’s privacy policy @ KU Leuven: Report |
LDJ on privacy @ KU Leuven: Report |.       LDJ on privacy @ KU Leuven: Report Posted on ...
A Nutrition Label for Privacy
A Nutrition Label for Privacy is an academic study by Patrick Kelley, Joanna Bresee, Lorrie ...
A Redesigned Parking Sign So Simple That You’ll Never Get Towed
Here is a piece on notice design, A Redesigned Parking Sign So Simple That You’ll ...
Microsoft Privacy changes email
This came as an email from Microsoft to its users, as an update of its ...
No Smoking Sign in China
Parking sign in Palo Alto
Bikes on Caltrain rules
A text-based visual on the window of a commuter train, to convey what the rules ...
Food regulations guide
A visual navigator from CUP, for Vendors: Did you know you can get a $1,000 ticket ...
Language Rights are Civil Rights infographic posters
Another great project from CUP, the Center for Urban Pedagogy, this time on language rights: The ...
Housing Court navigator
Another amazing infographic guide for a non-expert to navigate Housing Law, from the CUP team. ...
Housing Court Help
From CUP's amazing design/public service operations: Their project: Housing Court Help Many ...
Airline terms of service
From Cynthia Lee: For a sample of bad text design, the incidental charges airlines create for ...
Phone Tracking Disclosure
Personal Info Disclosures
How to obtain a motorcycle licence in the UK flowchart
How to obtain a motorcycle licence in the UK - TDL | London.
Privacy Policy Chart
This is from a CUPS publication out of Carnegie Mellon Unviersity. Privacy Policy Chart | Program ...
ITunes TOS Redesign
via Rethinking the design of the 'terms of service' agreement - SmartPlanet. Rethinking the design of ...
Tax Form self-assessment designs
Here is a short article about tax forms -- that includes discussion of how not ...
Berkeley No Smoking Sign
Drive Like Your Kids Live Here sign
People That Ignore School Zone Signs Behave Badly « KRON4.
Notice
Notice.bmp (BMP Image, 609 × 640 pixels).
7,500 Online Shoppers Unknowingly Sold Their Souls
A computer game retailer revealed that it legally owns the souls of thousands of online ...


Others Working on this

What other organizations and people are also working on communicating complex information better, and helping people make wiser decisions?

Some ideas for making Privacy Policies More Simple and User-Friendly
Allen Brandt has an article, On Making Privacy Policies More Simple and User-Friendly, in the ...
PrivacyFix: Online Privacy Dashboard for social networks
PrivacyFix is a browser add-on that gives users a single dashboard to see their privacy ...
Know Privacy
Know Privacy is a project from UC Berkeley about users' expectations of privacy online, and ...
Know Privacy
From the Berkeley Know Privacy project, a set of icons to summarize privacy details: To analyze ...
AVG makes privacy crystal clear with Short Privacy Notice
The online security company AVG announced it would be trying out a more mobile-friendly & ...
CUPS’ Nutrition Label Privacy Policy
CMU's CUPS lab has been prototyping Nutrition Labels for privacy. Here is one version: And another: And some ...
Bank Privacy site
The Bank Privacy site collects together financial institutions' privacy notices and allows the user to ...
ThinkData scenario-based legal info
ThinkData is a Data Protection and Transparency Awareness Service that presents legal information in a ...
TOSBack | The Terms-Of-Service Tracker
TOSBack | The Terms-Of-Service Tracker is a joint project from the EFF & ToS;DR (Terms ...
Privacy Illustrated drawings
A team from the CUPS made  Privacy Illustrated, a project having kids illustrate privacy for ...
Usable Privacy Policy Project
The Usable Privacy Policy Project is experimenting with how to make privacy more comprehensible, visual ...
Terms of Service; Didn’t Read
Terms of Service; Didn't Read.
FTC Mobile Privacy Report
From BlurryEdge Strategies' blog: FTC Recommends Best Practices for Mobile Privacy On February 1, 2013, the FTC ...
CyLab Usable Privacy and Security Lab (CUPS)
The CyLab Usable Privacy and Security Laboratory (CUPS) brings together researchers working on a diverse ...
Snapterms™ – Terms of Service, As a Service
Snapterms is a simple, fast and effective legal solution for your websites. Millions of websites lack ...
Privicons
via Background : Privicons.org. Recently there have been numerous approaches for simplifying privacy policies ...
Disconnect DB Privacy Icons
Disconnect DB. We developed the privacy icons in partnership with a Mozilla-led working group, the ...
Privacy Icons: Alpha Release, Mozilla & Aza Raskin
Earlier this year, Mozilla convened a privacy workshop that brought together some of the world’s ...


Background Research

Read up on the literature that examines what types of communications are most effective.

How online privacy controls affects our behavior
Here is a sketchnote I made for a privacy law class, summarizing some recent studies ...
Terms And Conditions Are The Biggest Lie Of Our Industry, an article from TechCrunch
Natasha Lomas & Romain Dillet wrote a small diatribe against the culture of Terms and ...
Beware the Fine Print: NYTimes investigations into arbitration clauses
The New York Times has begun a series of investigative pieces and media clips on ...
Smarter Information, Smarter Consumers from HBR
via Smarter Information, Smarter Consumers - HBR. As policy makers turn their attention to the private ...
Terms of Service: Didn’t Read? Might Not Be a Problem If It’s Browsewrap
Terms of Service: Didn’t Read? Might Not Be a Problem If It’s Browsewrap | Berkeley ...
Data Privacy ‘Nutrition Labels’ for Web Users Slow to Catch On
In eWeek, Robert Lemos wrote an article in September 2014, on Data Privacy 'Nutrition Labels' ...
A Nutrition Label for Privacy
A Nutrition Label for Privacy is an academic study by Patrick Kelley, Joanna Bresee, Lorrie ...
Taking Information Seriously: Misrepresentation and Nondisclosure in Contract Law and Elsewhere by Richard Craswell
Taking Information Seriously: Misrepresentation and Nondisclosure in Contract Law and Elsewhere by Richard Craswell :: ...
Visualizing the Law by Adam L. Rosman
Here is a law article from last year, by lawyer Adam L. Rosman, about how ...
Testing your visual designs
Here is one testing model to see if your designs are successful: 1. Define one or ...
Blind Consent: notice & click-through-agreements
Here's a legal journal article, Blind Consent? A Social Psychological Investigation of Non-Readership of Click-Through Agreements, on ...
TOS Redesign study
The Center for Media Design at Ball State University published a short paper on iTunes ...
Mobile Financial Communications & New Disclosure Paradigms
Visual Law: What Lawyers Need to Learn from Information Designers
Visual Law: What Lawyers Need to Learn from Information Designers by Helena Haapio and Stefania Passera on ...
Studying the Impact of Privacy Information on Online Purchase Decisions
Here is a short CHI paper from researchers at Carnegie Mellon about how users use ...
Ryan Calo: Are Online Privacy Policies Effective?
Here's a talk Ryan Calo gave at Stanford comparing different styles of notice & ...
Consumer Comprehension of Financial Privacy Notices
via Consumer Comprehension of Financial Privacy Notices - s70907-21-levy.pdf. This report describes the results of ...
Against Notice Skepticism In Privacy (And Elsewhere) by Ryan Calo
via Against Notice Skepticism In Privacy (And Elsewhere) by Ryan Calo :: SSRN. What follows is ...
Code, Nudge, or Notice? by Ryan Calo
Laws can be hard to pass and easy to ignore. Regulators are increasingly turning to ...


Design Principles

Techniques to communicate legal policies in better ways
Here is a page of my notebook from the class I'm teaching this quarter at ...
Privacy Notice Design Space
This schematic from CMU researchers on privacy design presents some of the key vectors to ...
Behavior Change principles for better engagement with notices
Literature on behavior change can help us design more engaging notices & legal communications. The ...
Best practices for legal communication design
Here are some clips from a wonderful report from US regulators/the Kleimann group about how ...
Core principles for good visualizations
How do you know if you have made an effective visual? What are guiding principles ...
Pervasive Information Architecture principles
These are central design guidelines, or heuristics, from the book Pervasive Information Architecture. by Andrea ...
On how people react to complex data
A paraphrase of Susana Kim Ripken, who wrote on how people understand securities regulation, in ...
On what constitutes good legal notice
Notice fails to protect consumers when it gives 'theoretical' knowledge rather than 'practical' knowledge. A paraquote ...
Communication Design Process
Communication design for the user
Principle of Effective Visual Design
On good legal and financial disclosures
Types of Data Visualization
On making legal documents usable
On designing legal docs
How to design legal notices
On designing legal disclosures
On designing legal notice
On Neutrality & Privacy Policy Design
Karen Schriver on Redesigning a 1040
via Redesigning a 1040 | Open Law Lab.
Information & Design in Data Vis
▶ I Like Pretty Graphs: Best Practices for Data Visualization Assignments – YouTube | Program ...
Best Practices for Data Visualization
▶ I Like Pretty Graphs: Best Practices for Data Visualization Assignments – YouTube | Program ...
Edward Tufte on fundamentals of info design
Edward Tufte on analytical information design
in a 2004 interview by Mark Zachry and Charlotte Thralls in TECHNICAL COMMUNICATION QUARTERLY, ...
Tax Form self-assessment designs
Here is a short article about tax forms -- that includes discussion of how not ...


Any thoughts or ideas for us? Let us know!