Making the grade without Clippy – Use of automatic readability scoring

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Published on September 22, 2014

Author: hannonhill

Source: slideshare.net

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#CSUC14

© 2014 – StoneRidge Corporation Donna Cannady Nall Emory University School of Law dnall@emory.edu Bryce Roberts, MS, MSPH StoneRidge Corporation Bryce@stoneridge.net

© 2014 – StoneRidge Corporation It looks like you’re writing a website. Would you like help? • Get help with it • Just type away At its most basic, [readability] is the ability to make readers continue from the top to the bottom of the page and then turn that page; and then make them do that 200 times … - John Curran

© 2014 – StoneRidge Corporation • Legibility vs Readability • Readability Scores with Application to Websites • Implementation • Additional Uses, Thoughts, and Questions View slide

 Basic understanding of how standardizing ease of reading across a website impacts multiple strategic needs  How and why ease of reading measures are objective ways to evaluate the linguistic structure of content  Understand impact and application of ease of reading through better content management, analysis, and evaluation © 2014 – StoneRidge Corporation View slide

© 2014 – StoneRidge Corporation Ultimate Accessibility “You can lead a user to a webpage, but you can not force them to engage!”

 Undoubtedly, comprehension of written language correlates with the linguistic structure, density of the visual typographic presentation, and the educational and cultural demographics of the reader.  Keep it simple or readers won’t stay on page for long. © 2014 – StoneRidge Corporation

Legibility is another area where the designer can be misled by what seems like an obvious dictate in type selection and design. There can be no question about the readability of the message, but legibility and readability are not quite the same — a dull and uninteresting presentation in a highly legible typeface will not be widely read. There have been many studies of comparative legibility, and each study seems to surface with slightly different conclusions. For the designer, the best solution is to use his material in such a way that it arouses interest and invites reading. —Allen Hurlburt, Layout: The Design of the Printed Page © 2014 – StoneRidge Corporation

 The effort required to understand the sematic meaning of groups of characters  Factors ◦ Number of words ◦ Number of letters in words ◦ Number of syllables in words ◦ Number of words in sentences ◦ Number of sentences Readability Legibility © 2014 – StoneRidge Corporation  The effort required to recognize individual letters in relationship to other characters  Factors ◦ Typography  Font (many facets)  Leading  Kerning ◦ Visual Elements  Void Space  Distractors  Contrast

© 2014 – StoneRidge Corporation

 Accessibility is the degree to which a resource (often information) is available and understandable to a wide audience  Affected by both legibility and readability  Requires an effective marriage of structure, design, and content working in harmony © 2014 – StoneRidge Corporation Not for just screen readers

L e g i b i l i t y  Hierarchy  Higher Contrast  Appropriate font  Goldilocks type ◦ Font size ◦ Line height ◦ Letter Spacing ◦ Line Length © 2014 – StoneRidge Corporation R e a d a b i l i t y  Headers  Minimal jargon  Infographics  Goldilocks writing ◦ Word descent ◦ Word average length ◦ Sematic organization

 Academic Writing Style – Dense, Jargon- Heavy, Recondite/Understandable only by Experts in the Same Field  Website Writing Style – Clear, Concise, Easy to Read by a wide audience Challenge: how to make an academic website readable and accessible to multiple audiences? © 2014 – StoneRidge Corporation

© 2014 – StoneRidge Corporation The Nature of Writing What is our purpose?

© 2014 – StoneRidge Corporation The Nature of Writing What is our purpose?

 A Nielsen study for Sun Microsystems reports ◦ 79% of users scan the page and then move on. Only 16% read word-for-word ◦ Reading from computer screens is 25% slower than from paper ◦ Web content should have 50% of the word count of its paper equivalent  Readability is related to objectively measureable factors and subjective factors  Most people read at levels lower than their highest academic attainment.  Without legibility, readability is meaningless (mobile) © 2014 – StoneRidge Corporation

A core value of website redesign was to improve accessibility through improvements in structure, readability, and legibility. © 2014 – StoneRidge Corporation

© 2014 – StoneRidge Corporation Measuring the unmeasurable by standing of the shoulders of great intellects Bight people created tools that can help us!

© 2014 – StoneRidge Corporation It looks like you’re evaluating the readability. Would you like help? • Get help with it • Guess away Automated Reading Scores All the same but different  Automated Readability Index  Smog Index  Coleman Liau Index  Gunning Fog Score  Flesch Reading Ease  Flesch–Kincaid Grade Level

© 2014 – StoneRidge Corporation Good for most everybody http://law.emory.edu/admission/juris-doctor/index.html

http://law.emory.edu/academics/clinics/turner-environmental-clinic.html © 2014 – StoneRidge Corporation Wow this is hard

 Subject matter experts (often our content contributors) struggle to understand the difficulty in reading their academic writing  Objective measures provide a correlative tools with which to evaluate text  Different measures are sensitive to different writing characteristics © 2014 – StoneRidge Corporation

Approximate representation of the US grade level needed to comprehend the text 4.71 푐ℎ푎푟푎푐푡푒푟푠  Relies on characters per word and words per sentences  Insensitive to overall text length and polysyllabic words © 2014 – StoneRidge Corporation 푤표푟푑푠 + 0.5 푤표푟푑푠 푠푒푛푡푒푛푐푒푠 − 21.43

Estimates the years of education need to understand a given text 1.043 # 표푓 푝표푙푦푠푦푙푙푎푏푙푒푠 푋  Relies on the number of polysyllabic words (gobbledygook) and number of sentences  Highly inaccurate for unusually structured texts (non-traditional paragraphed structures) © 2014 – StoneRidge Corporation 30 # 표푓 푠푒푛푡푒푛푐푒푠 + 3.1291

Approximate representation of the US grade level needed to comprehend the text 퐶퐿퐼 = 0.0588퐿 − 0.296푆 − 15.8  L – average number of letters per 100 words  S – average number of sentences per 100 words  Similar to Automated Readability Index  Insensitive to complex words © 2014 – StoneRidge Corporation

 Estimates the years of education need to understand a given text 0.4 푤표푟푑푠 푠푒푛푡푒푛푐푒푠  SMOG is related to this measure  Limitations ◦ Overly short sentences have significate and outsized impact ◦ Over estimates difficulty of familiar but polysyllabic words ◦ Debated if comma should be considered full stops © 2014 – StoneRidge Corporation + 100 푐표푚푝푙푒푥 푤표푟푑푠 푤표푟푑푠

Inverse scale of ease of reading for a given text with 100 to –X value Score 90.0–100.0 © 2014 – StoneRidge Corporation Easily understood by an average 11-year-old student 60.0–70.0 Easily understood by 13- to 15- year-old students 0.0–30.0 Understood by university graduates >0.0 Wow, you must not like your readers very much

206.835 − 1.015  Sensitive to both complex words and sentence length  Limitations ◦ Over estimates difficulty of familiar but polysyllabic words ◦ Short passages with long sentences or complex words will be estimated to be overly difficult © 2014 – StoneRidge Corporation 푡표푡푎푙 푤표푟푑푠 푡표푡푎푙 푠푒푛푡푒푛푐푒푠 − 84.6 푡표푡푎푙 푠푦푙푙푎푏푙푒푠 푡표푡푎푙 푤표푟푑푠

 Approximate representation of the US grade level needed to comprehend the text 0.39 푡표푡푎푙 푤표푟푑푠 푡표푡푎푙 푠푒푛푡푒푛푐푒푠  Used extensively in education  Well validated  If you don’t know what else to look at try this one © 2014 – StoneRidge Corporation + 11.8 푡표푡푎푙 푠푦푙푙푎푏푙푒푠 푡표푡푎푙 푤표푟푑푠 − 15.59

All were created equal Not really – shows how two semantically equivalent (one text being shorter) are © 2014 – StoneRidge Corporation scored differently by the various ease of reading scoring tools

Your audience may try hard to understand © 2014 – StoneRidge Corporation But please don’t make us work that hard!

© 2014 – StoneRidge Corporation It looks like you’re needing a readability tool set for Cascade. Would you like help? • Get help with it • I like pen a paper Automated Reading Scores Making it easy of yourself  Automated Readability Index  Smog Index  Coleman Liau Index  Gunning Fog Score  Flesch Reading Ease  Flesch–Kincaid Grade Level

© 2014 – StoneRidge Corporation The nuts and blots Cascade Server can help you do almost anything!

 Access to full java environment through extensions (JavaScript)  Library for readability  Regular expression easily to implement  No serializer tool for node  Opaque object types XSL Velocity © 2014 – StoneRidge Corporation  String Java Tools available  Easy to serialize node to usable string  Easy to configure variables  No regular expression tool easily accessible  May require added a java class tool or two to your environment

 Need to make serializer tool  Need to understand object types and passing to and from XSL to JavaScript and back  Implementations consideration  Based a great tool - https://github.com/cgiffard/TextStatistics.js © 2014 – StoneRidge Corporation

Assumptions make an @$$ of everyone but we need to do it from time to time  Full stops ◦ li ◦ p ◦ h1- h6 ◦ dd ◦ .!? © 2014 – StoneRidge Corporation  Most punctuation becomes a space ◦ ,:;()-  Not all full stops are sentences (Mr. U.S.)  Capitalized words in middle of sentence may not be proper names  Some words are forever a problem

 Not all xpath objects are the same ◦ * ◦ Node() ◦ Current() ◦ org.w3c.dom.traversal.NodeIterator, org.w3c.dom.NodeList, org.w3c.dom.Node or its subclasses  Extension element ◦ org.apache.xalan.extensions.XSLProcessorContext  Function ◦ Maps one of the many possible xpath objects © 2014 – StoneRidge Corporation

 Current() passed to function gives org.apache.xml.dtm.ref.DTMNodeList  This has access to the easy interfaces to create a serialized object from the node and is easy to understand from XML to JavaScript context © 2014 – StoneRidge Corporation

rootNode = currentNode.getDTMIterator().getDTM( nodeSet.getDTMIterator().getRoot() ).getNode(currentNode.getDTMIterator().getRoot()); transformerFactory = new Packages.org.apache.xalan.processor.TransformerFactoryImpl(); transformer = transformerFactory.newTransformer(); buffer = new Packages.java.io.StringWriter(); transformer.transform( new javax.xml.transform.dom.DOMSource(rootNode), new Packages.javax.xml.transform.stream.StreamResult(buffer) ); textToProcess = buffer.toString(); © 2014 – StoneRidge Corporation

 JavaScript String is not the same as a Java string function javaToJavaScriptString(javaStr) {try{ var len = javaStr.length(); var tmpStr = ''; for (var i=0; i<len; i++) { © 2014 – StoneRidge Corporation tmpStr += String.fromCharCode(javaStr.charAt(i)); } return tmpStr;} catch(e){return e.toString();} }

 Based on Christopher Giffard library  Functions ◦ cleanText – get the text ready for process with our assumptions about HTML structures ◦ TextStatistics – Class like object that take a string as its contructor ◦ Each statistic and measurement is a function © 2014 – StoneRidge Corporation

 Evaluate text statistics ◦ <xsl:if test="text-statistics: processNode(current())">  Get individual Statistic ◦ <xsl:value-of select="text-statistics: getStatistic('fleschKincaidReadingEase')"/> © 2014 – StoneRidge Corporation

© 2014 – StoneRidge Corporation It looks like you’re want to do great things with your knowledge. Would you like help? • Get help with it • I like pen a paper Ideas … Musings … Thoughts … Opinions … We got them all.

© 2014 – StoneRidge Corporation There really is a lot to do with all this information, and we promise you can use it too.

Not all audiences are the same Readability use and will vary based on audience and subject matter. © 2014 – StoneRidge Corporation

© 2014 – StoneRidge Corporation http://linchpinseo.com/seo-reading-level-college-websites

 Displayed in Cascade  Help content contributors evaluate content  Can be used as part of workflow management Currently Future © 2014 – StoneRidge Corporation  Embedded on the page  Integration with analytics tools like GA for understanding of user engagement  Content adaptation based on audience

© 2014 – StoneRidge Corporation I wouldn’t be here without you 2013

 Emory University ◦ For being a great client whose challenging needs and great ideas drive great solutions  Hannon Hill ◦ For continuing to develop and add wonderful features to Cascade Server ◦ For nurturing a wonderfully vibrant user community © 2013 2014 – StoneRidge Corporation

Bryce Roberts, MS, MSPH VP of Software StoneRidge Corporation 1050 E Piedmont Rd. Suite E-222 Marietta GA, 30062 678-391-6173 Bryce@stoneridge.net www.stoneridge.net © 2014 – StoneRidge Corporation Donna Cannady Nall Digital Communications Manager 1301 Clifton Road NE Atlanta GA, 30322 404-727-6816 dnall@emory.edu law.emory.edu

And so we say good bye to our friend © 2014 – StoneRidge Corporation Thank you and good morning!

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