Textured agreements: Re-envisioning electronic consent

Matthew Kay*, Michael Terry

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

14 Scopus citations


Research indicates that less than 2% of the population reads license agreements during software installation [12]. To address this problem, we developed textured agreements, visually redesigned agreements that employ factoids, vignettes, and iconic symbols to accentuate information and highlight its personal relevance. Notably, textured agreements accomplish these goals without requiring modifcation of the underlying text. A between-subjects experimental study with 84 subjects indicates these agreements can signifcantly increase reading times. In our study, subjects spent approximately 37 seconds on agreement screens with textured agreements, compared to 7 seconds in the plain text control condition. A follow-up study examined retention of agreement content, fnding that median scores on a comprehension quiz increased by 4 out of 16 points for textured agreements. These results provide convincing evidence of the potential for textured agreements to positively impact software agreement processes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSOUPS 2010 - Proceedings of the 6th Symposium on Usable Privacy and Security
StatePublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes
Event6th Symposium on Usable Privacy and Security, SOUPS 2010 - Redmond, WA, United States
Duration: Jul 14 2010Jul 16 2010

Publication series

NameACM International Conference Proceeding Series


Conference6th Symposium on Usable Privacy and Security, SOUPS 2010
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityRedmond, WA


  • End-user license agreement
  • EULA
  • Informed consent

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Computer Networks and Communications


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