What is Readability?

Readability is the ease with which a reader can understand a written text. Readability plays a significant role while developing web content by increasing comprehension for the reader. When users interact with content on the web, it is important that the written text remains clear and simplistic as possible so that the information can be understood by a wide array of audience. Hence, the more readable web content is, the greater the reach in audience.  Readability in web content will ensure users with disabilities, such as users with cognitive disabilities and reading disorders, as well as users with language and cultural differences, understand the information conveyed. When the web content becomes too technical or the language used is too complex, it can become an accessibility barrier to not only users with disabilities or language differences, it can become a problem to all users. 

Readability emphasizes how the text is writtenorganized and visually displayed for maximum reader comprehension. 

Written Text 

When creating content, the written text is the single most important aspect of a web page. It is what ultimately connects the audience to the website and as such written text should always be easy to understand, at an appropriate reading level and should always be encoded correctly so that all web audience have access to the information.   


Content organization helps readers navigate, access, and comprehend web content. To ensure a website is readable for all users, all content should be displayed in sequential order. The most important information of the page should always be at the forefront followed by supplemental information. Moreover, when content is broken into sections, the order of the page should remain consistent. This means, the content must always have appropriate structure and markup so that it can be read correctly. 

Visual Display 

The visual display of content is also critical to ensure the readability of the page.  This means the content color, fonts, spacing and imagery must be thoughtful considered to ensure all content in the page is easy to perceive by users. If the visual look to the text and content organization makes it difficult for users to understand information, the readability of the page is lost. More information regarding the importance of visual display can be found in the Web Accessibility Criteria Color  page.

 Best Practices for Readability

The best practices for readability include guides on writing text for the web as well as information on how to organize web content

Writing Text 

The following best practices should be used to increase reader comprehension for written text:


Overall organization helps readers navigate, access, and comprehend web content both technically and visually. Best practices for organization are divided into the following: