WCAG 1.0 Level A Checkpoint 14.1

Skip Quick Links

“Use the clearest and simplest language appropriate for a site's content.”

  1. Strive for clear and accurate headings and link descriptions. This includes using link phrases that are terse and that make sense when read out of context or as part of a series of links. (Some users browse by jumping from link to link and listening only to link text.) Use informative headings so that users can scan a page quickly for information rather than reading it in detail.
  2. State the topic of the sentence or paragraph at the beginning of the sentence or paragraph (this is called "front-loading").

    This will help not only people who are skimming visually, but also people who use speech synthesizers. "Skimming" with speech currently means that the user jumps from heading to heading, or paragraph to paragraph and listens to just enough words to determine whether the current chunk of information (heading, paragraph, link, etc.) interests them.

    If the main idea of the paragraph is in the middle or at the end, speech users may have to listen to most of the document before finding what they want. Depending on what the user is looking for and how much they know about the topic, search features may also help users locate content more quickly.

  3. Limit each paragraph to one main idea.
  4. Avoid slang, jargon, and specialized meanings of familiar words, unless defined within your document.
  5. Favor words that are commonly used. For example, use "begin" rather than "commence" or use "try" rather than "endeavor."
  6. Use active rather than passive verbs.
  7. Avoid complex sentence structures.