Audits: user tests and comprehension tests

Simplified user testing and audits help organisations to set goals, measure compliance, and identify priorities.

Our clients use Simplified audits and user tests to:

  • compare content across teams and channels 
  • compare content across the customer journey
  • measure content effectiveness in particular areas such as acquisition or complaints 
  • decide whether content is fair 
  • identify areas where content does not pass the transparency test

We assess usefulness, usability, fairness and transparency

There are four types of audit criteria:

  1. Usability of content: This includes structure, headings, summaries, visual aids, readability criteria (sentence syntax, active voice, strong verbs, and so on) and word familiarity
  2. Usefulness of content: These criteria focus on user tasks and whether users can use the content to achieve what they want to
  3. Fairness: We look at balance between the organisation and the user, especially in contract terms and information such as fees
  4. Transparency: Here we look at traditional plain-language criteria – with a special focus on legal jargon and complex words 

Methods for auditing content:

We use:

  • expert assessments based on objective criteria
  • tests with users – this includes traditional user testing
  • surveys and tests for measuring comprehension

Our case study on an insurance audit shows the outcomes and research questions in a Simplified audit.

Assessments based on objective criteria

Simplified has developed a set of assessment criteria which we customise for different organisations and content types.

Testing with real users

Objective assessments are coupled with user tests. In these one-to-one interviews, we ask task-based questions which test whether users actually understand the content (and not whether they believe they understand it).

Surveys and tests for measuring comprehension

We also use tools to test comprehension, including surveys and other form-based tests. These written tests are very useful to really understand how users interpret jargon, legal terms of art, and industry concepts.

Read our white paper: How to assess whether a document is clear