Sunday, February 7, 2010

Test your site's readability using Juicy Studio's Readability Test

Wow! If I'm going to get a job as a copywriter I need to work on simplifying my writing style, especially considering my ethos is pure and simple (which applies to code, copy and visual layout).

After my first post I performed the Juicy Studio Readability Test and discovered that the readability of my site is akin to UK's The Times and The Guardian newspapers. Perhaps I should pursue a career in journalism after all. Ultimately this means that it would take approximately 14 years of schooling to understand the content of this site. A further test indicates that 9 years of schooling would be required.

Additionally, on a 100 point scale of readability, where a high score indicates a highly readable document and authors are encouraged to aim for 60-70 points, my content scored 33.

Obviously these tests need to be taken in context and with a pinch of salt. They are mathematical formulas based upon such things as number of syllables per word and number of words per sentence. They favour short sentences with short words. They include non-content aspects of a site, such as headings and navigation. They don't take into consideration visual layout and formatting, semantic content or whether the written style is conversational, interesting or informative.

However, assuming that you have done all that you can to write an interesting and relevant document, which makes sense, this could be an extremely useful tool. I have learnt that I need to write shorter sentences and use shorter words.

Further advice given along with the test results are to keep the writing style clear and simple. Use language which is logical, unambiguous and direct. Avoid redundant words.

I hope I have managed to follow at least some of those guidelines.

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