Readability is the ease with which a reader can understand written text. Thrive to write content that remains as clear and simplistic as possible. This will ensure that users will understand the information conveyed. For users with disabilities readability can be essential for a successful user experience.
To consider for readability:
- Written text (Language Simplicity)
- Text Formatting
- Design/ Text Format
- Content Structure/ Organization
Written Text (Language Simplicity)
Aim to write your content at a high school grade level where possible and appropriate. When reading on a screen, users benefit from having text at a lower reading level. This in turn will create accessible content for users with cognitive impairments, users with language and cultural differences, as well as users who are distracted easily.
- Use language that is as simple as is appropriate for the content and audience
- Use correct grammar and spelling
- Avoid jargon and difficult language where possible
- Avoid character complexity and ambiguity
- Use a limited number of typefaces, fonts, and font variations.
- Consider spacing and text’s weight
- Provide summaries, introductions, glossaries, and/or a table of contents for complex or lengthy content
- Limit paragraphs to around ~80 words
Content editors should be thoughtful when formatting text, as they can inadvertently undo the accessibility, visual design, and branding work that designers and developers have worked to achieve.
- Use simple, familiar, and easily-parsed fonts
- Use consistent font style and font size in your textual content
- Using bold and italics for emphasizing only, not as header
- Use the same spacing for each paragraph
- Do not underline or strike through text
Content organization helps readers navigate, access, and comprehend web content. All content should be displayed in sequential order to ensure the website is readable for all users.
- Organize content into well-defined groups or chunks, using headings, lists, tables and other mechanisms
- Avoid distraction in content, such as background sound, moving or complex background.
- Ensure that navigation is consistent throughout a site
- Similar interface elements and similar interactions should produce predictably similar results
Visual Display is also important to make sure the website is readable for all users. These include color, fonts, spacing, and images. Visual displays must be considered to ensure all content in the page is easy to perceive by users.
- Ensure accessible color contrast between text and background
- Avoid small font sizes and other anti-patterns
- Avoid relying on use of color to convey information
- Implements alt text for every images on the page
- To keep all content accessible, avoid relying on only one of the sensory characteristics to convey information or instructions.
- Readability Checker such as Hemingway Editor, Gunning Fog Index, Flesch Reading Ease Index, and Flesch-Kincaid Index evaluate readability or grade level of text
- Make sure the text is resizable by enlarging the text size
- Make sure color contrast on the page satisfies the color contrast requirements