3 Tips For Optimizing E-Signing Processes on a Smartphone

Mary Ellen Power, March 5, 2015

Creating an electronic signature is a matter of viewing key files pertaining to a contract and performing an action that records consent. Electronic signature software is built to capture this process in a secure and legally binding way. This means that businesses subscribing to electronic signature solutions are often free to embed the core e-signing technology into an application or file type of their choice, giving them freedom to reach out to their user groups in the most intelligent ways possible.

This freedom unlocks significant potential, but it also means that you need to think strategically about how you want to leverage the technology. If you don't have many ideas or just want something basic, your e-signature provider will likely be able to offer plenty of help. However, if you do want to create a highly customized, optimized signing solution that works well for your specific user groups, you have that freedom. This can be especially beneficial if you want to make e-signatures available on smartphones, as the small screen size can severely limit your interface options. These three tips will help you optimize for smartphones so your users can handle the entire signing process without difficulty:

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1. Don't make screen-size assumptions
Phablets may be all the rage right now, but you don't want to assume that all of your users will have, or even be interested in, a screen that is 6.5 inches or larger. In most cases, it is easier to take an interface designed for a smaller device and make it work well on a larger system than it is to shrink a bigger solution. For example, building for a 6.5 inch screen and having that interface display on a 4-inch smartphone can force users to scroll through static pages to take in information and easily miss key data or run into control problems. Alternately, building an app for a smaller screen and simply increasing font sizes and making other cosmetic changes can make the app work well on a phablet.

Reaching a wide base of mobile users is easiest if you work to the lowest common denominator.

2. Be smart with your text
If you're gathering an e-signature, you're going to want to make sure users actually take the time to read what they are agreeing to. Be careful to avoid fine print that is so fine that nobody will read it. Don't link out of the core app to have a user read a long document. These types of strategies may save space on the screen, but they can give users opportunities to sign without knowing what they're agreeing too, making it harder for the signature to hold up in court. If you make the text reasonably accessible, you can ensure that the electronic signature you collect will stand up if it's ever challenged.

3. Keep the signing process behind authentication walls
Smartphones are not the most secure computing devices out there, as many users don't even put passwords into place to get beyond the lock screen of their phone. This is understandable, as smartphones are communication devices first, computing solutions second. You need to add layers of authentication that users need to navigate before they can complete a signature. Of course, with authentication being so important, you need to also make it convenient so you don't frustrate users. Getting a little creative is okay, especially as it can offer users intuitive ways to confirm their identity. A good solution will make sure a user's identity is verified for the entire transaction, not just when a person initially signs in.

Smartphones present a wide range of challenges, but we have resources available to help you optimize your solution. Check out our resource listing the top 10 requirements you need to meet with mobile e-signatures to make sure you've covered all of your bases when fine-tuning your solution.