1. Accessibility & Legislation
  2. Common Issues
  3. Testing & Tools
  4. Analysing Your Site

2.11 Common issues: Comprehension

From the Becta document

Ensure that the language used on a site is as simple and as easy to understand as possible. This will ensure that people who have cognitive, reading or learning difficulties are more likely to be able to follow and understand the relevant requirements.

To ensure that your site language is a simple and clear as possible try creating and following a style guide, breaking down dense chunks of text and testing your site with a wide range of end users and gather their feedback on what they thought of the writing style.

A style guide can be defined as a guide which details standards of writing style required by the relevant organisation. It is likely to cover such matters as punctuation, capitalization, and rules for citing references.

Simple example

The text:

Two people, one male and one female, ascended the slightly high and slightly steep mound of earth to gain hydrous liquid, which would be ported in an old fashioned carrying device.

Could possibly be better reworded to:

Jack and Jill went up the hill to fetch a pail of water.

WAI guidelines:

14.1 Use the clearest and simplest language appropriate for a site's content [NGfL requirement]


Write in a simple and clear manner for your site, and then gather feedback from as wide a range of interested parties as possible (ideally, these interested parties would not be familiar with the subject matter of your site). Other techniques that may help you ensure that your language is as simple as possible include:

Common issues