Readability (legibility) is a feature of the text that represents ease of its perception by the reader, as well as the evaluation of its simplicity. The two main factors of readability are the printing and linguistic features of the text.

Printing features can be summarized as the fact that the design of the text should not interfere with its reading. It's important to pay attention to the font, bold, margins, text and background color, and so on. No matter how interesting it is, a text written with red letters on a pink background will be hard to read.

Linguistic features of text readability are more versatile. The perception of the text is influenced by the length of words and sentences, the abundance of complex terms, neologisms and slang expressions, participle and adverbial clauses in the text, and the frequency of words.

A text becomes readable when it is most easily and quickly understood by the largest number of people.

To measure the readability of the text, the following indexes calculated on the grounds of formulas are used.

    < li>The Flesch Kinkaid Score is the most popular way to measure the readability of English text. It works on the principle of “the fewer words in the text, and the fewer syllables in them, the easier it is to perceive” and is most often used for checking essays in schools and universities. The higher the index value on a 100-point scale, the better the readability of the text.
  1. The Coleman-Lian Index, unlike the Flesch index, measures the number of letters (not syllables), and the number of sentences per hundred words. The automatic readability index (ARI) takes into account the number of letters and numbers in the text, as well as the number of syllables and sentences. As a result, the test indicates the level of the reader required to understand the text. The index equal to 12 corresponds to the approximate age of the school graduate.
  2. The Dale-Chall Formula includes more than 3,000 words that the average fourth-grade student should understand. Words that are not included in this list are considered complex. Their abundance in the text makes it difficult to understand. Until now, the method is mainly used for evaluating school texts.
  3. The SMOG index (a simple measurement of text complexity) measures the number of words in the text that contain more than three letters. The index also shows the required age of the reader to understand the text.

So, the conclusion is obvious: if your target audience is wide enough, the level of complexity of the text should correspond to a middle school student. Texts that require higher education from the reader can only be applied in highly specialized professional communities.

Today, checking the readability of the text is important for specialists from different fields.

SEO copywriting and content management

Smart human-trained search algorithms evaluate all site content for completeness of topic disclosure, and in a form that is understandable to the reader. For this purpose, readability indexes are used. In other words, pages containing simple and clear text get higher positions in the search results. Improving the text in terms of its printing and linguistic qualities will increase the user's viewing time. It turns out that the readability significantly affects the ranking of sites in the search engine.

HR field

Every day HR managers post dozens of vacancies for a variety of positions. At the same time, it is useful to calculate the level of readability of a vacancy in advance in order to limit the number of candidates. Thus, a simple and clear description of the vacancy will help you recruit staff for starting positions or internships. For job seekers who require a narrow specialization or significant experience, it is acceptable to use terms and professional slang in the text. Kindly note that a preliminary check of the vacancy text for readability will help you to assess whether it will attract applicants with the necessary competencies.

HR Specialists also regularly update internal standards and work regulations and create training materials for employees. Checking texts for readability will help you find out whether the text will be understandable in the work team.

Education field

For teachers, students, and authors of educational portals, checking readability is extremely useful. It turns out that when developing textbooks and tests, it is important that the final texts are understandable to students of the target age. If the system shows that the chosen text is too complex, one can easily find the further direction of its improvement. The important purpose of all educational guides and books is that they contribute to learning. If the text can't be understood, it will not fulfill its purpose.

The student essay is also one of the most verified types of texts in this field. The thing is the readability index will help the teacher to evaluate the quality of the student's work along with checking the grammar of the text.