How to Use Plain and Easy-to-Read Language for a Positive User Experience on Websites


Plain Language and Easy-to-Read Language are two approaches to reduce language complexity, which are also applied in the context of Web Accessibility. While Easy-to-Read Language was specifically designed to meet the needs of people with cognitive and learning disabilities, benefits for users with a variety of abilities have been reported. However, studies have also found unintended side-effects on non-disabled users, such as reduced text liking and intention to revisit a website compared to variants in conventional language. The present study addresses this issue by testing two approaches combining conventional with Easy-to-Read Language against a Plain Language variant, as well as a control group in conventional language. In an online study, 308 non-disabled participants read three texts presented in one of the four language variants. Measurements of performance indicators as well as subjective responses show that Easy-to-Read language may be implemented without unintended side-effects.

Computers Helping People with Special Needs