Make privacy and consent forms easier to understand by Adrianne Lee and Yedida Zalik 

Use content design to make your research content more inclusive and accessible. By increasing accessibility, we increase participation. This contributes to ethical and equitable research.

A lot of design work goes into developing accessible content for products. Let’s put that same effort into research consent. 

The government has power over people’s lives, including the lives of research participants. When the government conducts research, participants need to understand how we’ll use the research and their information. This means making information about participant rights transparent and clear so that people are not overwhelmed by text and legal jargon. 

About a year ago, the Research and Content Design teams at the Canadian Digital Service (CDS) started collaborating on our privacy and consent form. Working together, we’ve used plain language to make complicated ideas easier to understand. For example, we’ve created headings that explain what participants really need to know and read, while indicating which details some people may prefer to skip. People must read and agree to the form before participating in our research. By using content design, our goal is to help participants understand the form before they consent.

In this rapid 10-minute talk, we'll walk you through some case studies / examples of how content design can transform consent forms to make them more inclusive and accessible.

Adrianee Lee smiling in front of a purple wall

Adrianne Lee

Yedida Zalik smiling in front of a purple background

Yedida Zalik

Adrianne's bio

Participating in a research activity can be an intimidating experience, especially if the researcher is a government employee. Adrianne Lee is a Design Researcher with the Canadian Digital Service at the Government of Canada. As a government employee, her job consists of learning new things everyday to conduct better research and build inclusive services for people across Canada.

She is interested in interdisciplinary problem solving, conducting research that impacts end-to-end services, and working with others to build meaningful products and services.

More recently she’s been learning about native gardening to support local ecosystems and ways to “make the body a home.”

Yedida's bio

Yedida Zalik is a Content Designer at the Canadian Digital Service (CDS). She worked on the plain language privacy statement. Since joining CDS, she has designed content for several national products, including an inclusive phonetic alphabet that helps deliver information to the public over the phone. She also worked on the design of Canada’s national exposure notification service, COVID Alert.
Before joining CDS, Yedida worked in Ontario legal aid clinics, where she collaborated with communities to design materials for rights information and education.