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Legal Design Thinkers

Exploring the impact of visual contracts - Update

As you may have read in the previous post, my graduation project focuses on the exploration of the fairness of visual employment contracts. Right now, I have finalized my research phase and I have developed a visual prototype which I want to evaluate using the form below. However, first I would like to present some of the results of my research which led me to the creation of this prototype and the current test.

The conclusion of my research allowed me to create a framework by which I divided the contract into several layers. The first layer is the structure and the core of the project. This structure takes a different approach than traditional contracts. Instead of creating a tool focused on protection and litigation it sets up a structure based on agreements where both parties share the views and aim to seek for each other's well-being. The structure is based on the framework from Steward Levine on how to create effective agreements.



The second layer is focused on the content of the contract and it gathers the specific terms and conditions from the contract. The law is created to protect and ensure the well-being of both parties and is compulsory to comply with it. However, the empirical research has shown that in most cases it is not perceived as fair enough by the employees. Therefore, further research has been performed on fairness perception and on the aim of creating fairer contracts and the result has been that well-being is the ultimate goal. For that reason, a clear differentiation on the content has been created. The basic content which is what law states and then the terms & conditions that seek the well-being of the parties.

The third layer is the interpretation of the contract. It is focused on evaluation and feedback. This is an essential part as it is necessary within the project to demonstrate which is the impact of visual contracts and if these are actually fairer. For that reason, a new definition of fairness specific for the context has been created: fairness in employment contracts is the sum of two elements which are the understandability and the terms and conditions of the contract. In the first place it is essential that users can understand the terms and conditions present on the contracts. Only once this information is clear, they will be able to analyze the fairness in the terms. For that reason, it is necessary that the evaluation of the fairness of the contracts is done at two levels: comprehension and, experience and perception of fairness.

Finally, the last layer consist of the impact that the use of visual employment contracts may have on the users and in society. Ideally the result will be accessible and fairer contracts, however, this needs to be evaluated after implementation.

These are the results of my research and the base I used to create the prototype and the following questionnaire . I am looking forward to your feedback and experience with the prototype. Just follow the link below and you can start! Thanks for participating!

Go to the questionnaire If you have any doubts or questions you can always reach me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.