Content Design London

Readability guidelines alpha update: 2

Published 15 August 2018, by Sarah Winters in Content Process Reading Research Usability.

We’ve had 3 weeks to talk style. This week we looked at numbers and sentence length.

In that time, we’ve:

  • had 225 people (and counting) sign up to the Slack channel
  • found that we all like a deadline. There was a flurry of activity in the last 2 days of this week
  • uploaded links to research for sentence length and numbers vs numerals

Week 3: sentence length and numbers vs numerals

You can read all the notes and discussion for sentence length and numbers on the discussion tabs in the wiki.

A summary is that we have a fair amount of research but does it add up to concrete evidence? Even at the 7pm Slack chat, we were sharing links and data so we now have more to read. But what was interesting was research that showed how much our comprehension relies on the context and syntax of the sentence. Not just the words we use. I expect this conversation will continue as we get into other style points.

As for numbers, we found research that says numerals stop the eye from wandering. In Slack we shared anecdotal evidence that we have seen numerals work better in task performance. But as we said at the start, anecdotal evidence doesn’t mean much when having tricky conversations with colleagues.

One of our participants is going to look at doing lab research on this next week so hopefully, something will come from that.

We’ve also talked about different ways to access university research so we will keep you posted.

Moving on then, we are now focussing on capitalisation and legal language until 7pm 21st August.

If you have any evidence or studies you can share, any accessibility considerations or comments that would help, please get involved!

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