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Legal Design: a must for the GDPR compliance

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Legal Design draws the image of law as a communication tool. It opens up new perspectives in the way we concretely approach the law and spread it. 

It is a discipline that aims to make the law more accessible, useful, attractive and transparent for everyone. Find out more about its origin, application and benefits in our blog post.

What does Legal Design really mean? 

Let’s take the example of legal documents, thousands of pages that go in all directions and require our attention to understand them properly. 

With Legal Design, these documents become human-centred, clearer, understandable and easy to use, without any need for external help. 

The language of these documents becomes more “human”: simple, transparent and accessible. 

Legal planning therefore requires a more human-centred approach and empathy with the recipients of legal documents, understanding their needs and translating them in a clear and simple way.

Why use Legal Design?

Legal Design is a discipline that can be used in the creation of:

  • Guides and procedures;
  • Contracts;
  • Legal advice;
  • GDPR notices;
  • etc.

It is identified by the fact that the user is at the centre of the project. The overall architecture is based on the user and his/her ability to understand the legal message, and the result will also benefit from a direct and effective visual form.

The visual is stronger than the written word

Legal Design is based on the principle that visual design can improve legal communication. This communication, besides being legally compliant, also becomes user-friendly.

Visual elements, such as icons for example, have a reaction on human feelings and emotions because of the colour psychology. Studies indicate that certain colours and colour combinations generate emotions in users. Colours not only affect emotions, but can also influence the way a person makes decisions.

Clear language

In addition to visuals, clear content is also essential for Legal Design.

Indeed, for the content to be clear, it must: 

  • Take into account the user’s needs;
  • Choose the right words;
  • Always use the active voice;
  • Write short sentences and paragraphs;
  • Use examples;
  • Create attractive presentations to make important points easier to remember;
  • Use diagrams to illustrate complex legal concepts or processes;
  • Avoid footnotes wherever possible;
  • Avoid using too small fonts.

A legal document is clear if the person reading it:

  • Can easily find the information;
  • Can read it quickly;
  • Understands it correctly;
  • Retains the key messages.

It is important to know what you want to achieve and to identify the message you want to send through the legal document.

In addition, writing using clear legal language makes the communication:

  • Readable and understandable, because it is organised according to the needs of its user;
  • Engaging, as it is useful, informative and easy to remember.

At Admeet we offer GDPR compliance solutions for websites, based on the principles of Legal Design to design and deploy innovative tools, available to all: 

  • Language: it is easy to understand the meaning of our policies;
  • Design: the visual impact of our policies and the layers in which they are designed make them easy to use and understand,
  • Relationship: policies are designed to build trust with the users;
  • Content: the content and the way it is organised allows policies to be compliant and to well inform users.

Legal design is not about persuading users to consume a product or service, or an experience, or to feel a particular emotion. Rather, it is about increasing a person’s ability to make informed decisions.

Legal Design for the GDPR

The GDPR requires that policies and other communications on personal data protection be concise, easily accessible and easy to understand by all.

Thus, by combining legal expertise with visual content creation, Legal Design offers a real educational dimension to legal tools, perceived as too complex for non-experts, often misunderstood and misapplied. 

The use of Legal Design guarantees a better understanding of the messages and the effective application of the GDPR.

An example is the privacy policy, which is often unclear and difficult to access, and which carries the risk of never being read or understood because of its limited readability. 

If you create a policy with icons, for example, that allows the reader to have both a synthetic understanding of the terms of use of the data he/she grants to a service (and in return, of the rights that the service gives back to him/her), and also to have a structured understanding of a legal document and its effects.

Increasing the understanding of its users, as well as the relationship of trust with them, is an effective way of communication. But also a competitive advantage and a differentiator factor from your own competitors who simply don’t take the time to personalise and make their privacy policy intelligible. Get a head start on your competitors!

Adopting Legal Design techniques therefore becomes an asset for legal professionals to communicate the Law in the codes of the 21st century, and for companies to inform their users in a clear way about how their data is used and stored. 

Taking responsibility for being clear is therefore the big change. 

At Admeet we help you make it your priority! Are you ready to start?