Content Readability: Wanna Do the Maths?

All technical writers struggle to develop documentation that would be easy to digest by both advanced and novice users. Nowadays, when a 5-year old can download a game on Play Market, start it, play unless getting bored, and delete it, and a 60-year old can get confused by the amount of freezer controls located on the dispenser panel, it’s an uphill battle. We do have to write documentation that would suit both types of users.

And here comes another point. My mom was a good girl this year and got a new cell phone for Christmas. And guess what, with no Ukrainian instructions available (Ukrainian is her native language), English was there, though. My mom is a 7-year old English speaker and a novice user, therefore.

So, what am I trying to say? Readability matters!

Have you ever tried to test the readability of your documentation? A veteran technical writer, Laura Novich, did it in her post How reader-friendly are your docs?, and here are 3 most popular readability tests to do it!

Got overwhelmed by all the formulas? No worry! There are also links to readability plug-ins that might come in handy and do all the maths for you.


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