According to Jakob Nielsen 30% of web users have low literacy and the number will probably grow to 40% in the next five years.
Unlike higher-literacy users, lower-literacy users don't scan text. They can't understand a text by glancing at it and must carefully read word for word. Scrolling breaks their visual concentration and they start skipping text as soon as it becomes too dense.
- Use text aimed at a 6th grade reading level on important landing pages
- On other pages use an 8th grade reading level
- Place main points at the top of the pages
- Make search tolerant of misspellings
- Simplify navigation
- Streamline the page design
- Avoid text that moves or changes
A study showed that revising the text of a web site for lower-literacy users made it perform significant better for both lower- and higher-literacy users.
- The article Lower-Literacy Users
- March 17, 2005
See also: Accessibility (11) Text (19) Tips and guidelines (80)