Plain language is good for consumers and businesses alike. Readable content helps you make an impact, build trust and reach a wider audience. Find out why readability should be a central part of your business.

Readability for your consumers

First and foremost, readability should be at the heart of your brand because it serves the consumer. The principles of plain language and good readability propel a user-centred approach. 

When you simplify your language, you help your readers. It also lets you reach more people. According to a National Adult Literacy Survey, 87% of Americans struggle to compare two viewpoints in two editorials. This is because they lack the reading proficiency required. This shows that while literacy rates are high, full comprehension rates are low. 

It also shows how easy it is for your potential customer to misunderstand you. When consumers understand your product offering, they’re more likely to make a purchase. 

Readability for your employees

The second big case for readability as a brand value is for employees. Any business owner wants their staff to be driven toward a common goal. So your mission statement should have excellent readability. This way, your employees understand your business and goals really well. As a result, they can be much more successful in their roles.

This is a great opportunity to review your mission statement. Make sure it’s clear. Get to the essence of what your business is doing and reaffirm your values. These are the essential questions you should be answering:

  • Who are we?
  • What do we do? 
  • Why do we do it? 
  • How do we do it?

Simplifying this process sets you up nicely to simplify your business goals. It may be difficult at first, but it will benefit you years down the line. It sets the standard for your culture. If you use good readability from the top down, it improves team synergy. It also makes a good impression on new employees. Further, new employees are easier to train if onboarding materials are friction-free. 

Finally, using good readability within an organisation is simply a considerate, inclusive act. According to studies, up to 10% of the UK’s workforce has dyslexia. 8.3 million Americans have sensory processing disorders - this means difficulties filtering the most important information. These numbers are impossible to ignore. Think of it this way. By using plain language, you are operating on the assumption that at least one person in your team may struggle with comprehension. Having good readability in every facet of your business ensures that this person(s):

  • Won’t be put at a disadvantage
  • Won't feel excluded or discouraged at work
  • Can easily understand the information in front of them
  • Can focus on what they do with that information

Excellent readability benefits your consumers and your employees. If you have old materials in the form of documents you need to update in line with your new best practices, check out our blog post on converting a document for the web.

Laura Kelly

Laura is a freelance writer and worked at Readable for a number of years. Laura is well-versed in optimising content for readability and Readable's suite of tools. She aims to write guides that help you make the most out of Readable.