If you’ve ever had your computer give you a readability score or a grade level for something you’ve written, you’ve run a readability formula. Readability formulas are easy to use and give you a number. This combination makes them seductive. But a number isn’t useful if it isn’t reliable, valid, or helpful.
In this article, we’ll explain how readability formulas work and give you seven reasons why you shouldn’t use them. We’ll also show you better ways to learn whether the people you want to reach can find, understand, and use your content. Read More
As writers, it’s easy for us to think that whatever topic has held our interest throughout the stages of research, synthesis, and composition will also pull our readers through to the end of whatever we’ve written. But that’s not the case. Many who come to this article may not even reach the end of this sentence, as the article “How People Read Online: Why You Won’t Finish This Article” explains.
So how can writers reach people who don’t read? Through scannability. Read More
To know your content is to love it. Content analysis is an essential part of many UX design projects that involve existing content. Examples of such projects include migrating a Web site to a new platform or design, merging multiple Web sites into one, or assessing Web content for reuse in a new channel. Just as you cannot nurture a garden without regularly inspecting its plants and flowers, you cannot take proper care of your content without looking at it closely. You must become familiar with your content to judge whether it’s effective, understand how it relates to other content, make decisions about how to use or format it, identify opportunities for improving it, and more. Content analysis, though time consuming, is fruitful, because your efforts provide the following benefits:
Content analysis results in a clear, tangible description of your content—which clients and stakeholders can perceive as nebulous—whether expressed in text or visually.
Content analysis provides the foundation for comparing existing content with either user needs or competitor content, letting you identify potential gaps and opportunities. 
Content analysis offers insights that help you make decisions about your content more easily—for example, what to prioritize.
Content analysis can reveal themes, relationships, and more.
In this column, I’ll walk you through a content analysis—and offer tips and tricks along the way that will help make your next content analysis more effective. Read More