About

This is the first version of our readability tool, literatin.  We hope this tool will help to make it easier to know how complex your text is.

If you want to get straight to the tool, go to the download literatin page and have a go. If you want to know more about why we’re doing this, keep reading ….

Why did we make this?

Online services now use lots and lots of information (data).  They do this to reflect the things you need and want, so they use data about you.  You give them this data when you visit their online sites.  You might know that you are doing this, like when you fill in a form.  But sometimes you don’t.

You also don’t always know (a) where that data is kept, (b) how long it is kept (c) who uses it, and (d) how they use it.  So, how can you tick a box to say you ‘understand and agree’ to that use?

Websites rely on things like ‘Terms and Conditions’ and ‘Privacy Policies’ to tell you how they use your data.  The idea is that you read these things and then you know how it will be used.  But they are long and hard to read.  They use words that are complex and not always familiar to us.  We think that people need to understand what they are agreeing to, or how can they really agree?

We know that 43.4% of people (aged 16-65) in England can read at level 1 or below [1].  That’s 14.8 million adults.  So, it makes sense that the easier to read things are, the better it is.  If we write things at level 1, then more people will understand what we write.  When you read, understand and agree to things online, you are giving ‘consent’.  When you give consent, you are giving up your right to control the data you share.  Under current UK law you can’t take that back, so it’s really important that you understand before you consent.

Why Literatin?

The problem is that it’s hard to know if a text is easy to read just by looking at it.  Whilst there are tools out there that tell you the ‘readability level’ of a text, it’s hard to know what those numbers mean.  We want everyone to be more aware of what they write and we hope literatin will help by…..

  1. Showing you how complex a text is,
  2. Comparing it to books we all know
  3. Telling you how many people might not be able to read your text
  4. Making it easy for you to check any of your text, when you are online
  5. making it free to use

How you can help

This is the very first version of Literatin and it won’t be perfect.  We want you all to be able to use it and have a say in how to make it better.  Once you’ve used it a few times, please go to the ‘Feedback’ page and take our survey.

How do I get Literatin?

Just go to the ‘download literatin’ page, tell us a bit about yourself and click on the link.  It takes no time at all.

References:

1.Harding, C., Romanou E., Williams, J., Peters M., Winkley, J., Burke, P., Hamer, J., Jeram, K., Nelson, N., Rainbow, B., Bond B., and Shay M. 2011 Skills for Life Survey: Headline findings, BIS Research Paper No. 57, Crown Copyright, 2011

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