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Readability Matters
Virtual Readability Lab, Univ of Central Florida

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Engaging a network of thinkers and doers to deliver personalized reading environments, empowering everyone everywhere to achieve more.

Readability Matters

United States
Personalized reading solutions offer a set of benefits not delivered in a one-format-fits-all model. Simple changes to character shape, size, and spacing can create immediate and dramatic changes in reading speed, accuracy, and comprehension. Let’s put the option for enhanced readability into the hands of those who seek knowledge and learn in school.

We Build Better Reading

Readability Matters
“Building on technology widely available today, educational material can be formatted for each student in his/her best reading format, significantly enhancing the student’s ability to learn.”

Readability Matters

It is time to think about reading differently. Making small changes to text format has an immediate impact on reading speed and comprehension and can increase the learner's speed of accurate reading 20-50% or more. The "best reading format" is proven to be different for all individuals.

Supporting education with reading performance improvements increases learning capacity. Additionally, making reading skill acquisition easier has the potential to increase a child's reading confidence more quickly, potentially changing his educational trajectory.

Technology Creates New Possibilities

Technology today has the potential to support maximizing the reader's ability to comprehend quickly and accurately. There is no best format for all readers, personalization is required.

  • Children and adults benefit from the use of Readability Features
  • Performance improvements occur across all levels of readers
  • Reading proficiency improvement is instantaneous

Research Validates Readability Promise

Readability Matters completed studies and a tech proof of concept demonstrating that using different formats, readers' speed and accuracy improved significantly across the tested classrooms. We use speed to draw an inference about how easily the reader is decoding. (Shanahan) Changes also occurred in the reader's phrasing; some went from 3-word phrases to 5 and 6-word phrases, an indication of increased comprehension.

Researchers from Adobe, Brown University, and the University of Central Florida demonstrated the significance of Readability changes. The resulting Computer Human Interaction (CHI) paper concluded, "Adult readers in our study read better with varying fonts… around 10 additional pages an hour, means font choice is of real-world significance."

Visit the Virtual Readability Lab

The online Virtual Readability Lab provided by Adobe, the University of Central Florida, and Readability Matters will allow you to participate in 5 minute reading tests. These tests determine the font or character spacing that help readers read faster or enjoy reading more. Soon this test will be available with a full set of materials appropriate for K-12 students and their teachers.

Join the Community of Readability Thinkers and Doers

Help bring Readability Features to all learners. Contact Readability Matters with your ideas.

  • Contact the lab of Ben D. Sawyer with questions about accelerating reading through typography and document intelligence.
  • Schools interested in incorporating readability improvements should watch for implementation guides that will be available this summer on
  • Technology implementations are in progress; register for updates on the Readability Matters website.

Read more ›
Innovation Overview
Target Group
Tips for implementation
In order to improve readability, everyone needs the ability to control character shape, width and weight, size, character and line spacing, and background color. A limited set of Readability Features are available in some apps today. Much more can be done.
Contact information
Readability Matters
Virtual Readability Lab, Univ of Central Florida

See this innovation in action

Fast Company Names Readability Matters as Finalist | Readability Matters
Visit the Readability Features Demo Sandbox | Readability Matters
Accelerating Adult Readers with Typeface | Readability Matters
Readability Features & Technology for Better Reading (Part I) - EdTech Center @ World Education
Readability Features & Technology for Better Reading (Part II) - EdTech Center @ World Education
Advancing the Reading Ecosystem | Readability Matters
White Paper: Tech Proof of Concept Results White Paper | Readability Matters


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