How Wave builds trust & culture with contracts.

Over the last six months, we’ve been thinking a lot at Paper about the user experience of contracts for readers (the people you want to agree to your contracts); and how contract UX can have an outsized impact on your sales velocity, your brand, and even your culture.

Medium needed a picture for the article preview, so I added this in.

Wherever a contract is present in your operations (including terms of service), there lies an enormous opportunity to build trust with your users.

When we approach a contract, years of bad legal dramas have taught us to get our guard up. We often approach it with a complex sense that we need to look for something that could be used to harm us in the future. Layer that on top of the intimidating language and layout of contracts, and it produces an exhausting experience.

How Wave Builds Trust with Simple Terms

A really good example of contract UX I’ve seen lately is the terms of use for Wave (accounting SaaS for small business). Wave’s product and privacy teams developed a set of “Simple Terms” that explains the legalese in each paragraph to their users.

A few lines of text, and a lot of thoughtfulness, have really paid off for Wave. I don’t have exact conversion data, but from their Twitter feed you can see the love from their (new) users.

Brand and culture. Reinforce it with your contract UX. Wave is all about making small business accounting less intimidating and approachable for entrepreneurs, so they made a cute jab at lawyers.

One sentence does so much for a user’s trust with your brand. Contract UX is a powerful trust opportunity.

You can apply simple terms to any contract: sales, HR, purchasing, fundraising, corporate development. It will immediately generate trust and accelerate the velocity of whatever process you’re in.

For design driven organizations, searching and leveraging every opportunity for user delight is a key goal. The less the user expects to be delighted, the more delight they have. The more trust you build. The better your brand is. The better your brand is, the more defensible your business is.

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Adrian Camara is a founder of Paper, probably the best way to eSign, manage and negotiate your contracts in the world.