Easy Language on the web

The general principles of easy language text contents apply very well also to web environments, even though the guidelines on the text content and its structure didn’t initially pay attention to web services. In fact, many of the general principles for writing for the web concur with the principles of easy language.

But when it comes to layout and graphic principles the case is different. In printed media the layout for easy language  publications is rather clearly defined, but this can’t be done for the web. The forced line breaks typical of printed easy language text is not recommended for web contents because the end result may, due to the different sizes of the screens, turn out entirely different from the original idea.

From the perspective of users of easy language, the perhaps most essential aspect in the structure of web services is the amount of information. The amount of information often grows quite large since the pages usually contain, in addition to the actual contents, also different navigation structures, supplementary information connected to the content as well as other elements and links. Many of the groups who use easy language find the extra information confusing and the abundance of information disturbs the process of using the website.

In easy language web texts clear and usable navigation structures, headings and search functions are prerequisites similar to the guidelines given for the layout of printed text in easy language publications.

Easy Language websites may apply for a SELKO symbol. The symbol is granted by the Finnish Centre for Easy Language together with the Papunet Web Service (usability).

Read more about the accessibility of web services on the Papunet accessibility pages (in Finnish).