Beyond the Wall of Text: How Information Design Can Make Contracts User-Friendly

  • Stefania PasseraEmail author
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 9187)


This study investigates the unique contribution of layout and visual cues to the comprehension of complex texts. Contracts are taken as a key example of cumbersome, complex texts that most laypeople do not like to read, and avoid reading altogether if possible. By means of information design, the meaning of contracts can be made more readily visible and understandable to their intended user-group. An experimental evaluation shows how it is not enough to simply reorganise the text in a more logical, user-friendly order, but real improvements in comprehension speed and accuracy can only be observed when enhancements to the textual structure of the contract are accompanied by an improved layout and other visual solutions.


Document design Information design Contracts Experimental evaluation User experience Usability Complex information Cognitive load theory 



This research was kindly funded by the FIMECC UXUS project (User Experience & Usability in Complex Systems) and Tekes – the Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Industrial Management and EngineeringAalto University School of ScienceAaltoFinland

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