Six ways to improve website readability

80% of web users scan web pages, when they do read they read 25% slower than off screen readers.

The key is to write content that can be easily scanned , this can be done by adopting some of the following suggestions.

  1. Highlight key words and use bulleted lists where appropriate to the content, this helps to open up large block of text.
  2. Try not to cut and paste content directly from a printed document – an approximate rule is to cut it down by 75% , this is a must if you expect your users to read it on a screen.
  3. The inverted pyramid technique is a great approach to writing good content.  Start with the conclusion, and then go on to explain the full story.
  4. Aim to stick to one idea per paragraph.
  5. Always keep links phrases concise and clear.  Ask yourself if they make sense if read out of context or as a series of links?  At all costs avoid these terms:  click here, more info, follow this link and this website, they are meaningless when read as a list. A screen reader will just hear the words click here with no idea where the link will take them. Click here implies the use of a mouse which may not be the case. Using descriptive words or phrases  in links  help users to understand what to expect and is of benefit to the search engines.
  6. Are heading and subheadings meaningful – can user quickly scan the page and understand what they’re looking at or looking for.