How to use plain and easy-to-read language for a positive user experience on websites

Beat Vollenwyder*, Andrea Schneider, Eva Krueger, Florian Brühlmann, Klaus Opwis, Elisa D. Mekler

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Plain Language and Easy-to-Read Language are two approaches to reduce language complexity, which are also applied in the context of Web Accessibility. While Easy-to-Read Language was specifically designed to meet the needs of people with cognitive and learning disabilities, benefits for users with a variety of abilities have been reported. However, studies have also found unintended side-effects on non-disabled users, such as reduced text liking and intention to revisit a website compared to variants in conventional language. The present study addresses this issue by testing two approaches combining conventional with Easy-to-Read Language against a Plain Language variant, as well as a control group in conventional language. In an online study, 308 non-disabled participants read three texts presented in one of the four language variants. Measurements of performance indicators as well as subjective responses show that Easy-to-Read language may be implemented without unintended side-effects.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationComputers Helping People with Special Needs - 16th International Conference, ICCHP 2018, Proceedings
EditorsKlaus Miesenberger, Georgios Kouroupetroglou
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018
MoE publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication
EventInternational Conference on Computers Helping People with Special Needs - Linz, Austria
Duration: 11 Jul 201813 Jul 2018
Conference number: 16

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
Volume10896 LNCS
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


ConferenceInternational Conference on Computers Helping People with Special Needs
Abbreviated titleICCHP


  • Easy-to-read language
  • Plain language
  • User experience


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