If you want everyone to use your products please cater your services as simple as possible. That means that you should communicate your service in such a fashion that even those who have little to no experience with legal practices can read your legal documents and understand them.
- Directly link the user to the right document that they have to agree on, if they have to agree to several documents offer them several links and specifically state that the user agrees with all these documents at the same time.
- List all possible languages that your service communicates with in the same document, that way you are always sure that, no matter what, everyone that you cater your services too can read your legal documents.
- Start every Language chapter with a title saying what language it is and then provide a table of contents that lists all the sections of the document so that all sections of the document are easilly navigatable.
- Provide a way that your user can contact you or your legal department in case your documents contain spelling errors, or in case the reader has questions about the document or the service that is attached to it.
- And finally, if you insist on sending your users to one central website that lists all your documents, provide a “frequently used documents” section at the top of your website so that your most populair services can be found directly when needed.
So why do I say these things and why do I think Adobe needs to change his current policy? Let me tell you my full report using the example of Flash Player 12.0.
In my experience Adobe is the absolute king of terrible terms and conditions. Now don’t get me wrong, this isn’t because their Terms are terrible or evil or anything. It’s just because most modern people have at least two Adobe products on their computer at all time and you'd expect Adobe to take a little responsibility because of this. I'm talking about the Flash Player, for YouTube use , and the Adobe Reader, for reading .PDF files. Adobe's products have regular updates that requiring you to accept the terms and conditions every time. So this is rather annoying if you actually read these terms and call me crazy because I always do.
If you’ve never seen it, the Terms and Conditions website is a large list of .PDF files that you can only access if you have an active internet connection. Now, note how all these files I'm talking about are .PDFs. Meaning that anyone who wants to read the terms and conditions of the Adobe Reader - before opening a .PDF someone sent him - probably has to already own a functional .PDF reader in order to read the terms and conditions. Be it madness, irony or a false assumption, I don’t know, but it’s a funny thought to start off on this website.
Not easilly accessable
I looked for the words "Flash Player" and this search function got me six different results called "Flash Player". The first one is hidden under the "downloads" tab of the website - you'll never see it unless you put a little effort into it - a third hit is the same as the second hit and the last hit is the same as the first hit but this time it's a "Download" tab at the bottom of the Website.
But the first interesting hit is found under the title "Services" and is listed as "Adobe Premium Features for Flash Player", which surprisingly enough links you to an actual website instead of a .PDF file.
Terrible to navigate
But search a word in your preferred langauge, scroll to the start of the chapter, read it, agree with it in your mind and go back to the main website because there is still one more hit under the search term "Flash Player".
To many documents with the same name
No form of contact