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Readability: Why should I be focused on online readability?

By Guðrún Unnur Gústafsdóttir

With the information overload existing online these days, people want information- fast. It turns out that online users rarely read web pages word by word. Instead, they scan the page, picking out individual words and sentences. This means that on the average web page, users read 28% of your content during an average visit. Readability revolves around how easy or hard it is to read your content. Readability is determined by vocabulary, characters, word length, sentence length and other criteria depending on the readability test used. 

With the above information in mind, conveying your online message is very important. Therefore, keep the following in mind when writing scannable online content:

  • Keep your content short and to the point
  • Provide your users with bulleted lists, number lists or summary sections for easier scanning
  • Use highlighted keywords (hypertext links count as highlighted keywords)
  • Use meaningful subheadings 
  • Avoid exaggerations and/or corporate marketing
  • Use the inverted pyramid style
  • Consider your audience

 

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