An award-winning collaborative, global project.

This wiki is no longer being updated. But it is still available for anyone who wants to make style decisions based on evidence and data.


Part of: Readability Guidelines

Top findings

Last updated: 11 December, 2019

Use simple sentences

Complex sentences take more brain power to process, make readability more difficult for low literacy level users and are harder to translate.

Clear language section

Avoid capitalising words

People are more used to reading lowercase letters so comprehension is slower for capitalised words.

Grammar section

Avoid abbreviations and acronyms

This reduces user confusion. Exceptions: when users know them better in abbreviated form, for example GIF and 5KB.

Grammar section

This may reduce distraction and cognitive load. It can work better for users with autism.

Content design section 

Avoid referencing gender or age

It’s generally not necessary and can easily make your content non-inclusive.

People section

Choose respectful vocabulary

Research what language could be emotive for your users by exploring forums, blogs and social media, and carrying out user testing.

People section

Readable content is easier to translate

Using plain, simple language, short sentences, active tense, good grammar and accurate punctuation helps make content easier to translate.

Clear language section

For detailed guidance and usability evidence visit specific sections.

All Readability Guidelines recommendations are based on evidence. In Beta we researched 17 readability questions. For some particular points we are still looking for evidence.