Don't rely on T&Cs. Do this instead


I recognise that this title may be enough to spark some push back. But before you jump to conclusions, hear (or rather, read) me out.

Back in 2018 the OECD conducted a systematic review of studies from the Behavioural Insights literature that focused on online disclosure practices and related consumer behaviours. It was great and useful content (for us). 

Yet the thing that stuck out most for me was one of the prominent recommendations they made to policy makers: Don’t rely on terms and conditions to convey important information.

This seems obvious, given that it’s well established people do not actively engage with and/or understand these agreements.

If you don't want to dive deep, here's the gist

It’s very possible to design disclosure experiences – like Terms and Conditions – that actually enhance the experience people have with a product or service. This isn’t standard practice today.

So, you have a choice to make:

  1. Do what everyone does (even if it sucks), or
  2. Do the number one thing consumers believe will restore trust, make terms and conditions easier to understand

If you choose option 2, we suggest getting started with the Better Disclosure Canvas. Here’s a video case study that demonstrates the end to end process, from the Better Disclosure Workshop through to content development, wireframing, design, research and implementation.

In fact, this is one of the key micro-learning experiences on offer for early Greater Than Learning members.

Let's dive deeper

The Better Disclosure Canvas was first designed by Mathew Mytka and Nathan Kinch from Greater Than X (also co-founders of Greater Than Learning). It was created to provide a simple and repeatable way for individuals and teams to design more effective disclosure experiences.

The earliest use of this canvas focused on facilitated, co-located workshops. This resulted in the Canvas being printed AO, stuck on a wall, and used as the central artefact in half or full day workshops with cross functional teams.

This process then evolved to focus primarily on facilitated, yet virtual workshops. This experience was designed in Mural, which supported guided and sequential facilitation over two half day or two x 2 hour workshops.

It’s since been used in a variety of contexts to great success. Although we can’t share details about the client (Greater Than X, our services firm) project the table below references, this will give you an idea of the type of impact this approach is having on complex agreements, like those commonly found in Financial Services.

This data comes from a preliminary study with a very small sample (n=11).

The process

The Better Disclosure Canvas is the central artefact used in conjunction with a Toolkit. This Toolkit consists of:

  1. The Canvas itself
  2. An evidence kit
  3. A series of design patterns
  4. Cross functional collaboration workflows
  5. A series of consumer outcome focused metrics, and
  6. Distinct research practices

Together, this Toolkit supports:

  1. ‘Selling’ the idea to ensure appropriate support and commercial funding
  2. Effective cross functional collaboration, even amongst teams that may often struggle with competing priorities and incentives
  3. Empirically (direct research with ‘customers’) driven design and decision-making

And as a result, implementation and optimisation decisions can be made with more clarity and higher confidence.

This process does not guarantee perfect. But, it does guarantee progress.

If you want to talk about the step by step process, post a comment and we’ll dive in 🧐

The advantages

The distinct advantages realised through Better Disclosure design and implementations will almost definitely vary. However, here’s what we’re typically optimising for:

  1. Greater trust (and a result of a more trustworthy legal disclosures)
  2. Accelerated implementation timelines, as a directly result of meaningful cross functional collaboration and more directly aligned incentives
  3. Significant uplift in key consumer outcome focus areas, which directly enhances the customer experience. And
  4. All the positive PR that comes from doing better that your competitors


How are we, at Greater Than Learning, practicing what we preach?

A good chunk of the answer to this important question is available here in our Key decision Log. If you want to experience the output of this decision and our work directly, check out our Relationship Agreement. This is our version of Terms and Conditions.

As I mentioned above, Better Disclosure is one of the early focus areas of mirco-learning in our new platform. If you’re interested in practically applying this toolkit, consider becoming a member today.