Providing Understandable Text Content for All
We all want each of our visitors to understand what we are trying to convey in our text content. Regardless of the reading and comprehension skills of our visitors, they should all be able to easily read through our text content, enjoy it, and understand its message.
To do this, we can employ a set of methods that can improve the understandability of text in our website.
Whatever your site’s topic is, you would most likely use sentences in providing ideas and supporting them. It is therefore important to ensure that everyone would understand all the ideas you are trying to convey through your sentences. Here are things you can do to make your sentences comprehensible and understandable.
First, you need to limit your ideas in a sentence. Avoid trying to squeeze in more than two thoughts in one sentence. Sentences having multiple ideas normally end up becoming lengthy. They also tend to be too complex for most readers.
Here is an example of a sentence containing multiple ideas:
Mozilla Firefox which was created and developed by the Mozilla community is a program designed for Internet users to browse web pages and access online content.
You can improve this sentence by dividing it into two smaller ones:
Mozilla Firefox was created and developed by the Mozilla community. It is a program used in browsing web pages and accessing online content.
Once you have a group of ideas, you would then create paragraphs for them. Similar to sentences, paragraphs would become understandable to all your readers through a number of steps.
While going through your content, try to determine if there are paragraphs you can divide into smaller sections. Generally, a paragraph that occupies five to six lines in your page would already appear lengthy. This usually deters people from actually reading the entire text content.
A lengthy paragraph can be divided into two smaller sections. You have to keep in mind though that if you divide paragraphs, you need to be careful not to set two closely related sentences apart from each other. In addition, you need to maintain cohesion between the two resulting paragraphs. One way to do this is by using connectors and short phrases that can relate the previous paragraph to the next one.
By doing so, you would divide your paragraphs equally. This makes your paragraphs easier to read and understand.
Before uploading your HTML documents, you should proofread your text content at least once. Check your text if it has errors in spelling and grammar and correct them. Errors, especially those in spelling, may make it difficult for your readers to understand your text at once. In particular, screen reader users who listen to the text instead of reading it would find it hard to understand misspelled words.
Apart from checking the text yourself, you may ask another person to check it for you. You may also use the spell-checking function of your word processor. Be careful though when you use these applications as manual checking is still more accurate.
Through a few non-technical steps, you can ensure that all your readers would find it easy to understand your text content. Generally, you just need to make your ideas easy to digest, so that people would immediately get the message after reading your text.