Organizing patterns are about choosing the right content and an effective information architecture.

They help structure the content so that it is logical, meaningful and relevant to the readers. Used together with navigation and other patterns, they help organize and display information in a way that maximizes its clarity and understandability. Some of these patterns you may already use intuitively, as part of good writing. Their use is often guided by strategic design choices, e.g., what content is included (express terms) and what is left out (potentially leaving room for implied terms) and which order of precedence the various documents should take. A good organization also helps the writer in being more logical, coherent and concise, because it makes it easier to notice contradictions and omissions.

Organizing patterns can help you make the contract's core content and meaning visible, especially for business readers. A logical, intuitive organization of content helps people reading strategically to find the answers they need. You can use them to illustrate how different parts are related or in which document(s) or clause certain content is presented. You can also use them to clarify what is and what is not part of the contract.


Organizing patterns can help contract crafters with these problems:

  • How can I make contracts more useful and usable for business?
  • How can I make business people see that contracts are about business?
  • How can I clarify what actions are required and on what occasions?
  • How can I make sure readers find all the details they need?
  • How can I make the contract easy to review and edit?


Organizing patterns can help contract readers with these problems:

  • What is the purpose of this document and why should I read it?
  • Where is “the beef”, the core commercial content?
  • Why should I read text that is irrelevant before I find what matters to me?
  • Why should I look at many clauses in different documents to get all the details about a contractual topic?