Why is it that companies never (or at least very rarley) make legal copy legible? I hate to pick on Southwest because they happen to be one of my favorite airlines but this example is what promted the question…
Now I know that in some cases legal copy, and terms and conditions can be extremely long and not exactly something you’d tell a friend to check out like that last novel you devoured, but at least give users some paragraphs, bullet points, leading…you know…some formatting!?
Why should companies do this, you ask? It’s simple. Because it’ll look like you have nothing to hide. When I saw this example from Southwest I instantly thought, “Ok great…now that I signed up for this promotion how are they going to convolute it so that I really don’t get what they say I will?”
It feels sneaky and underhanded. And you know…maybe this example is but i don’t know because I stopped reading it after the second sentence. Is that what you really want? For some companies sadly, it is. But I’d like to believe that your company is different, that you do want your users to understand what they are, or just signed up for. You may even avoid irate customer service calls later on because everyone is on the same page and knows exactly what to expect. Fewer customer service calls = less money. User/customer expectations set = happy customer.
MORAL OF THE STORY: The less difficult you make things for your users and the more transparent you are about your offers/products/services/company the better.