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Re: Testing readability of a page that's behind a firewall


From: Cliff Tyllick
Date: Oct 31, 2008 4:50PM

Apologies in advance for this cross-posted response...

Claudia, might I suggest you dispense with the testing tools. Write clearly, reread your work, and edit it mercilessly. On your Web pages, make every word earn its place five times. Ginny Redish's latest title, "Letting Go of the Words: Writing Web Content that Works," is on the mark.

I have seen much good writing ruined in an effort to improve a readability score. And although we should use the simplest word that works, sometimes there just isn't a word of one or two syllables to express the concept. (Formulas essentially count words per sentence and syllables per word. And I'm no doubt oversimplifying, but that's the largest part of each score.)

So when you have to use words like "readability" and "oversimplifying," your readability score will be atrocious. If you counterbalance that by making your sentences short, your score will improve a bit, but your text will read like a primer. And choppy sentences impair comprehension, too.

And now I'll step down from my soap box and go have a weekend.


Cliff Tyllick
Web development coordinator
Agency Communications Division
Texas Commission on Environmental Quality

>>> "Claudia Alden Case" < <EMAIL REMOVED> > 10/31/2008 5:32 PM >>>
I typically use Juicy Studio's Readability Test tool to check the
readability of web pages. Recently, I've been running accessibility audits
of web apps that sit behind a firewall. JS's Readability Test tool doesn't
work with these URL because they are behind the firewall. I tried saving
the page to my local hard drive and pointing the JS tool at the saved page
but it doesn't appear to be able to handle file://.

I'd be interested in hearing what options I have for testing readability in
lieu of the JS tool.

I'm cross-posting this to accessibility_Sig and webaim-forum so I apologize
if you received this twice.