Each design pattern has a description to understand how you can use it, and a section with examples to see it in action.
Each pattern can often be used in different clauses or situations. We offer suggestions and examples of use for a certain pattern, but it is never an exhaustive list. Don't get discouraged if we haven't listed your context of application! You know what is best for your business and your contract readers: if you think that a pattern may work well, it's worth trying it.
Moreover, each pattern has a comment section: exchange ideas, suggestions and feedback with your peers to develop your mastery of patterns.
Do not use every pattern in every contract. And don’t use a pattern just because it looks cool: patterns are for you to choose and mix carefully, on the basis of the problems you are facing, and the communication goal you seek to achieve.
Once you have identified the right patterns to improve your contract, it’s time to implement them. For more sophisticated visualizations, you may want to ask for help from your marketing or design department. Many other solutions can be implemented with the tools and skills you already have.
Your goal is clarity and functionality, rather than beauty or a wow-effect. And if your ideas are clear, finding a way to design documents or visuals is a relatively simple challenge for anyone with a modicum of computer literacy. You can create reasonably clear visualizations in PowerPoint even if you are not a designer. Really.
Remember that patterns are model solutions, not something to be copy-pasted. When you implement the idea or technique of the pattern, you need to adapt it to your specific context (e.g. your user needs and problems, your business goals, etc.). Moreover, your organization has its own visual brand, tone of voice, and values: while not everyone agrees, we think that your contracts should be aligned with those, too.
No need to overhaul all your contracts at once. Experiment with some patterns and test whether they help you better reach your goals. Start with small experiments and pilots (e.g., a few clauses, one document), and use them to envision how your contracts could be and gain feedback from their end users. Involve different stakeholders to ensure that your redesigned contracts are useful and usable at different stages of the contracting lifecycle, and are compatible with your contract creation, management, and analytics tools. Make sure that scaling up is a continuous learning experience for all teams and departments involved – small experiments and lots of feedback are less risky and costly than big plans in the face of the unknown.