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If you have ever received a summons for a traffic violation in New York, you may have found it difficult to cull out the information that is important. Summonses are usually written by hand and many people found them difficult to read. Because information like the date and time of the court appearance or the potential penalties were not obvious, many people found themselves missing their court dates.

However, a new design aims to fix that problem, according to Fast Company. A design company, with input from the court system, the University of Chicago Crime Lab and the New York Police Department, has redesigned the form of summons to make it more user friendly. For instance, the time and place of your court appearance now appear at the top of the form.

In addition, the name at the top of the document now reads “Criminal Court Appearance Ticket” as opposed to “Complaint/Information.” If you miss your court date, a warrant may be issued for your arrest, which has the potential to cause you serious problems. The form of summons now contains clear language the lets you know you may be arrested if you do not show up to court.

Other changes may also be on the horizon. The court is the process of switching to a system that allows you to pay fines online. Reminders are becoming available by text or telephone and one jurisdiction is testing a program that would allow people to walk in during court hours at times that are convenient to them so they do not have to miss work for their court appearance.

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