by anthony on 06/03/14 at 10:31 am
Have you ever read the terms of service agreement that you have to agree to when you sign up for a website? A survey shows only 7% of users read the full terms when signing up for online products and services. Terms of service agreements are so wordy and legalistic it’s no wonder why users don’t read them.
All this shows websites are to blame. Websites need to make their terms of service comprehensible. If they don’t, users could abuse the site, violate laws or harm other users without knowing so. Websites could also lose many users if they’re not clear with what their terms mean.
Websites need to change how they present their terms of service pages to users. There’s not much they can change about the length and wording. This is because legal contracts need precision and clarity so that users can’t interpret or bend terms in their favor. But one thing websites can do is offer a summary next to each term that simplifies the length and wording into layman’s terms. There are a couple of websites already doing this, but more need to catch on.
If terms of service agreements had term summaries, more users would be able to read and understand them. This would allow them to know what rights they have, and what rights they’re giving up before they sign up for a website. Not only that, but websites would have more users following the rules.
Forcing users to read a lengthy, complicated terms of service is unjust. Every terms of service page should have term summaries so that it’s user-friendly to read. Maybe then users will finally know what rights they have and feel safer using new websites.