I’ve been very impressed with the ease of use of my new iPhone 3GS. A related comment by CNet columnist Matt Assay made me think that contracts should likewise be so easy for non-lawyers to use:
… Apple product [are] made for normal people who generally don’t obsess about technology. For all the beauty of its designs, the real reason Apple succeeds is simplicity. Apple takes complex technologies and makes them easy to use.
Normal people can use Apple technologies without ever opening a manual.
What’s amazing is that Apple manages to do this from the heart of Silicon Valley, a place that lives and breathes technology and, hence, conveniently forgets that approximately no other human beings on the planet share this character trait.
Similarly, we contract lawyers live and breathe contract language, but for clients’ benefit we should “take complex [contract concepts] and make them easy to use.” It’s more work, but Apple has shown that this extra work can pay off.
In an ideal world, we’d write contracts so that “normal people can use [them] without ever opening the manual.”