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Is there any standard for accepting signatures inside an application?

I want to write an android app for gathering clients and then having them sign contracts on the tablet device. Is just an "I agree" checkbox with an "okay" button sufficient? Or should make a window pop up to get a signature with a finger "Writing " it in?

Anyone have any good resources maybe that explain this issue further? (not sure if this was the right stackexchange to ask this in)....thanks!

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    The question is in fact off-topic here, since we are not lawyers, and the situation can moreover depend of the country you live in. You should instead ask this question to a lawyer. Jul 25, 2011 at 9:15
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    @Codejoy We can't help you with legal issues, but if you're looking for help with how to design the UI accepting signatures, we can. Please rephrase the question if that is your intention.
    – Rahul
    Jul 25, 2011 at 11:34
  • Scribble on digital paper barely means anything. Digital signatures are completely different thing, so I wonder what exactly you're even asking... To make it legally binding, they'd have to get real dig. sig. possibly signed by their government, modern ID cards have chips that store your signature that is bound to your identity, but you need special hardware for it to be useful...
    – Sahsahae
    Nov 25, 2019 at 9:59

2 Answers 2

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Though the question is off-base for the ux forum, one of my clients is a web service for doing contracts that include e-signatures. The short answer is that the there are no legal issues with signing on a tablet. A short history of e-signing and its roots from the age of the telegraph is posted on my client's blog:

http://contractual.ly/blog/e-signatures-in-the-law-a-very-short-history/
URL is no longer valid.

http://blog.contractual.ly/e-signatures/
Updated URL

That said, there are some UX issues to consider. The first is that people need to be made aware that they are entering a legally binding contract by signing. Click-through is legally binding, but feels a bit too easy to be serious or real, and the UI needs to address that perception.

Secondly, people need to feel secure in their signature, that the signature can be validated in some way. Communicating this in a digital product without resorting to technical terms is hard to do, but important for people to trust an electronic signature on a tablet or other device.

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As a suggestion, I would say that closely mirroring the "standard" (non-digital) user experience of making the user sign a document is the way to go. A way you can make this feel more realistic would be to use a "sign here" field with an x and an underline (like many paper forms) where the user will provide their signature using a capacitive stylus. This lets the user follow the exact same process as they would with a standard paper contract.

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