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Re: page and site complexity measures [was Re: Web Content Accessibility Guidelines

From: Harvey Bingham <hbingham@acm.org>
Date: Fri, 05 Mar 1999 00:31:25 -0500
Message-Id: <4.1.19990304235824.00af2c30@pop.tiac.net>
Message-Id: <4.1.19990304235824.00af2c30@pop.tiac.net>
To: <w3c-wai-er-ig@w3.org>
At 1999-03-03 03:35 PM, "Leonard R. Kasday" <kasday@acm.org> wrote:
>Jonathan mentioned some facts about vocabulary and page complexity. E.g.
>people whose vocabulary is less than ~2k words.
>
>Are there lists of these words.  Perhaps the evaluation tool could do a
>count of words outside the list for its ratings.   Or, getting a bit more
>sophisticated, if there's a list of probabilities that words are outside a
>persons vocabulary, then the measure could be the statistically expected
>number of words outside the vocabulary.

For pointers to several flavors of "Easy English" word lists see: 
    www.hd.uib.no/corpora/1998-3/0211.html

At one time, military manuals were to be constrained to such limited
vocabularies -- 500 to 2000 words, no multi-meaning words, simple action
verb, active voice, short sentences, etc. At that time Flesch-Kincaid 
readability measures were required to be low enough grade-level that
soldiers needing to learn from such manuals would have the appropriate
vocabulary to understand them. 

Another important use was for international air traffic. Simple, unambiguous
english was used world-wide, except for a while in Quebec. Likewise, all
ATA manuals were written in that simple english, so mechanics of many
natural languages need only learn that small English vocabulary to
understand what to do to maintain the aircraft.

I note that Readability scores are available in Microsoft Word '97: 
Flesch Reading Ease, and Flesch-Kincaid Grade level score.

Another terse page comparing a variety of readability scoring methods is
   www.writepage.com/writing/gramchek.htm
>
>There are various automated reading level measures around.  Would any of
>those help?
>
>And I wonder if it would be possible to automate a measure of layout
>complexity?  I remember there were measures like that in the old literature
>associated with forms on dumb terminals.
>
>Going further with this, how about measures of site complexity?
>
>Anyone know of any literature here?
>
>Len
Received on Friday, 5 March 1999 00:31:49 GMT

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