This is a library of guidelines, explanations, and examples to inspire and support you in exploring user-friendly approaches to contract simplification and visualization.
Here we are dealing not so much with verbal content, there are plenty of good manuals and style guides out there to draft text that insulates the contract against litigation attacks. We focus on providing guidance and inspiration to present contracts so that they work better for their intended purpose and business audience. We want to support you in improving your contracts by helping you view your contracts through their users’ eyes, and organize, communicate, and visualize them so the users can find what they need, understand it, and use it.
There is a need for examples and a vocabulary so people are better equipped to discuss the choices of not just words, but also other means to express contract content.
From a legal perspective, Proactive Law is our starting point: the goal is success of the parties’ relationship and collaboration from their joint perspective (win-win), not just protecting the interests of one party in case of a dispute.
“I challenge the on-going perception that contracts are purely 'legal'. They are not. Legal is but one stakeholder in the contracting process. Contracts are at their core business critical economic instruments.”
Sally Hughes, IACCM CEO
In order to get going, we have chosen to limit ourselves to a prototype library containing 12 initial patterns focusing on improving the usability and user-friendliness of contract documents.
In the short term, we aim at expanding this collection with more patterns and examples, as well as collecting feedback from IACCM members on how to fine-tune the library. In the long term, we foresee a need for further tools for contract design, and we dream to be able to expand this Library beyond documents, with patterns and tools addressing other aspects of contract design. Perhaps an app or a decision support system for designing contracts, patterns to support contract planning and negotiation, even snippets of code for smart contracts, and the like.
We look forward to hearing from you and to expanding our library together with you and other library users!
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