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© Ugur Akinci
How comprehensible is your technical document?
There are various tests and measures of comprehensibility but I like the Cloze Test the best since it measures the interactivity of the user with the document within a specific subject-matter context.
The test is nothing new. It was first formulated by W. L. Taylor in 1953. It consists of deleting one word in every N words and then asking the user to complete the text by guessing the missing words.
60% rate of completion is supposed to represent a “minimum level of comprehensibility.” Another typical test parameter is deleting every 6th word in a text.
I tried this with a passage from Facebook’s user policy page and I guessed 9 out of 15 missing words correctly, representing 60% of contextual comprehensibility.
You can read more about this test here.