Navigation patterns help readers find their way through the document and access the information they need.

 Contracts are often not read linearly. Effective readers read text strategically, searching and using information for solving specific problems. For example, they skim-read to get the gist of the contract, re-read parts they don’t understand, follow up cross-references, and compare information from different documents. Navigation patterns help them in accomplishing these tasks. They offer a visual and logical access structure, with visible and well-organized headings, sections, pages, cross-references, as well as indexes, tables of contents, and menus.

These patterns also help contract crafters to manage complex documents (or sets of documents), keeping them complete and well-organized.


Navigation patterns can help contract crafters with these problems:
  • ”People don’t even know the key points of the contract, what’s in and what’s out”
  • “People miss crucial details”
  • “I need to keep track of contractual topics over many appendices and documents”


Navigation patterns can help contract readers with these problems:
  • ”I need to find quickly and easily the information I need”
  • ”I want to know, at a glance, where to find the most important information”
  • ”The document is badly organized, I don’t know where to find the information I need”
  • ” When documents are hard to read, I miss key information”