Make it simple, or force users to read? Paraphrased design improves comprehension of end user license agreements

T. Franklin Waddell, Joshua R. Auriemma, S. Shyam Sundar

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

11 Scopus citations


Users often react negatively towards applications that track their personal information, even though they have consented to such tracking by hitting the "I Agree" button on the application's end user license agreement (EULA). This is because most users do not read the EULA carefully. The language and presentation of EULAs are often dull, dense and inaccessible. Researchers have proposed design options for heightening comprehension of EULA content, but the effectiveness of these suggestions is unclear. To address this gap, we conducted an experiment that examined how users' attitudes towards EULAs are affected by paraphrased and forced EULA formats. Paraphrased EULA presentations increased the time spent on reading the EULA. Moreover, they elicited more positive attitudes toward the EULA, which in turn predicted better comprehension. These findings hold implications for design of EULAs by showing that complex content displayed in simple terms across multiple windows can increase reader comprehension.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCHI 2016 - Proceedings, 34th Annual CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Number of pages5
ISBN (Electronic)9781450333627
StatePublished - May 7 2016
Event34th Annual Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI 2016 - San Jose, United States
Duration: May 7 2016May 12 2016

Publication series

NameConference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - Proceedings


Other34th Annual Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI 2016
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Jose

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design

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