Recent publications include:
Robert Waller, Stefania Passera and Helena Haapio (2022), Layered contracts: both legally functional and human-friendly, in K Jacob, D Schindler, R Strathausen and B Waltl (Eds), Humanization and the law, Springer.
Builds on an idea suggested in 'Designing contracts for human readers' (below), this book chapter proposes a layered approach to contract design that aims to resolve the recurring debate between Simplifiers, who prioritise clarity, and Completists, who want to ensure every legal contingency is covered. The layered approach calls for a user-centred Action layer, an expert-centred Reference layer, and an Explanation layer representing a conversation between them.
Robert Waller (2022) Designing contracts for human readers. In Marcelo Corrales, Helena Haapio and Mark Fenwick (eds), Research Handbook on Contract Design. Edward Elgar Publishing.
Proposes a realistic approach to the small print: people are never going to read it, and why should they? Instead use risk assessment to decide what to prioritise, and when people get it wrong, treat it as a cognitive accident rather than a transgression.
Robert Waller (2018) Simple information: researching, teaching, doing. She Ji: The Journal of Design, Economics, and Innovation, vol 4 no 2, 143-156.
An account of the history and philosophy of the Simplification Centre.
Robert Waller (2017) Practice-based perspectives on multimodal documents: corpora vs connoisseurship, Discourse, Context and Media, Vol 20, 175-190.
Looks at how information design artefacts are analysed by multimodal researchers, and argues that they need to go beyond the surface and understand design processes in order to fully explain what they see.
Robert Waller and Stephanie VandenBerg (2017) A one-day transformation project for overdose emergency kits, Information Design Journal, vol 23 no 3, 319-333.
This project was to critique and redesign the instructions for naloxone – an antidote for opioid overdoses which is increasingly made available for non-medics to administer.
Robert Waller, Jenny Waller, Helena Haapio, Gary Crag, and Sandi Morrisseau (2016) Cooperation through clarity: designing simplified contracts, Journal of Strategic Contracting and Negotiation. vol 2 issue 1: 48-68.
Reports on an innovative project to simplify business contracts by turning them from legally-framed technical documents to usable guides to managing a contract. The transformed documents were aimed at First Nations businesses in Canada, but have a wider application.
Robert Waller (2016) Transformational information design, in Petra Černe Oven and Cvetka Požar (eds) On Information Design. Ljubljana: Museum of Architecture & Design, 35-52.
Public lecture introducing the relevance and importance of information design, and key concepts for understanding it. This volume represents a lecture series delivered in 2009/10 on various aspects of information design, and makes an excellent introduction to the field.
Robert Waller (2012) Graphic literacies for a digital age: the survival of layout, The Information Society, vol 28 no 4, 236-252.
Reviews the role of layout in text, and the influence of technology on its availability to writers and readers. Distinguishes between fixed, fluid, fragmented and fugitive pages, and reflects on the affordance each offers for the display of graphic argument, and for strategic reading.
People occasionally ask for my 1987 PhD thesis, so here it is.