As the saying goes, “a picture is worth a thousand words”. The brain processes visual elements quicker than text.
Why aren’t pictures and other visual tools used more in presenting legal contents? Legal Design can be used to make legal communication more understandable and user-friendly.
Even though nothing is as mind-numbing as listening to a monotonous presentation as the slides filled with text with a small font size (on a white background, of course) change in the background, legal design should not be done just for the sake of design. I have also often seen presentations that are filled with dozens of colors, images, fonts and font sizes. As the cherry on top, ClipArt -images familiar from the 90’s (that bring back flashbacks of creating 90’s birthday cards with PowerPoint) are glued on top. Is it really necessary to fill empty slides with all the aforementioned without considering what message you want to convey?
Design also has an important role in protecting and carrying out the rights of individuals. Legal content concerns regular people who have no judicial background or experience. For example, the decisions of the court are binding, but does everyone fully understand the content without the help of an expert? Justice should be understandable and available for everyone. The authorities typically quote sections and articles of different regulations that are far from simple. At this point an average person would ask: what is an article? For a person to be able to use their rights, he/she needs to be aware of them and in addition know how to use them.
Judicial texts are often perceived as boring and hard to comprehend. Successful legal design takes into consideration the needs of the user and the content is portrayed efficiently and transparently, which increases user-friendliness. The need for legal design is apparent and thus it should be utilized more.
Fondia is proudly hosting a Side Event for Legal Design Summit on Sept 12th at FondiaHouse Helsinki. Read more and sign up for the event here.