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Specify a reading age

We want to make your website as easy to use as possible. Making text easy to read will keep people engaged and more likely to re-visit your website.

It’s best practice to write for the average reading age for the people your website is intended for. That is, an age range, not a specific age.

In my post about Writing for web, I focussed on clear, concise ways to write your web content. Now I’d like to talk about Readability and reading age.

Readability is an attempt to match the reading level of written material to the “reading with understanding” level of the reader. — National Literacy Trust

Reading age refers to the amount of formal education a person needs to have had (on average) to understand the text content on your website.

When your planning your website, specify a reading age so that your content author(s) can tailor their words accordingly. There’s a good article on the UK’s Content Design Centre website that has some good examples.

There are many online tests that will help you determine the reading age level of your content. Here are two: