Our Second Year

We have continued our expansion of readability research. Extended and new areas of focus include receiving a $1 million grant from the state of Florida to research readability factors in K-12th grade students; the use of AI large language models to generate appropriate reading passages; and the creation of an open-source codebase to make readability experiments easy and accessible for our readability research community. And we continue to pursue the development of new insights into our established research tracks, detailed below.

Growing Our Community

We continue to attract new organizations and individuals to our worldwide community, indicative of our culture of openness, explorative nature, and bent toward the practical application of our findings. We welcomed in 2023 one new organizational member, nine individual associates, and two associate groups.

Research Highlights

During our second year, The Readability Consortium actively pursued research related to Information Design for Individuals, Psychophysics of Variable Type, Readability in Education, and Readability Across Language and Culture. Across these research tracks, over 3,600 participants have been recruited in collaboration with our members, associates, and research partners. This figure represents more than double the participants over 2022. Key findings include:

Information Design for Individuals

Key Findings:

  • Prescriptions can be built from individual response to font axes, spacing, rulers, etc
  • Optimal format fit depends on reading mode
  • Too many settings choices can be daunting to readers
  • The level of expertise in a topic changes the readability needs


Psychophysics of Variable Type

Key Findings:

  • Narrower widths are associated with faster reading
  • Lighter weights/grades are also associated with faster reading


Readability in Education

Key Findings:

  • Students experience a significant bump in reading speed with font and spacing fit
  • The readability font and spacing task is transferable to basic mathematics context


Readability Across Language and Culture

Key Findings:

  • Identified a K-12 partner in Taiwan
  • Recruited English language learners in Florida and California

Learn more about our research.

Dissemination Highlights


The Readability Consortium has published a total of 12 academic articles, including publications in journals such as Taylor & Francis Online, ACM, CHI, and Vision Sciences Society. TRC has also published a variety of conference proceedings, and a collaborative readability research paper published on arXiv. Read our publications here

The Readability Consortium founding member, Readability Matters, published 31 blog articles covering diverse topics in readability.


Readability Newsletter:

Three issues of The Readability Press, a readability community newsletter, have been distributed. Sign up for The Readability Press.


Conferences and Events:

The Readability Consortium and broader readability community participated in 18 conference events, including presentations and workshops at AdobeMAX, SXSW EDU, Adobe Education Summit, ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, ProLiteracy, and Florida Literacy Conference. Find a complete list at the Readability Wiki.


Social Media:

The Readability Consortium has received social media attention and continues to garner interest across popular press outlets. Our social media channels received over 25,000 impressions. Notably, impressions increased 3.5x between Q1 and Q4, reflecting the impact we are having on the reading community. Follow us on social media: Instagram | LinkedIn | Twitter


Press Coverage:

We have received 2 popular press articles, including:

Explore the complete list of press coverage.


In our second year, we greatly expanded the number of English reading passages targeted toward elementary, middle, and high schools. These passages range from 100 words to 900 words, providing a range of readability testing options. New for 2023, our Pavlovia-based experiment builder is available to all, with no coding knowledge required. Also in 2023, we created an AI-based passage building system and are refining it to be able to generate text indistinguishable from human-generated text. Public resources also include a TRC community literature scan with citations; a reading controls tester; adult and child reading passages; word/non-word glanceable stimuli; and datasets from our TOCHI, CHI, and HFES publications. Explore the complete list of TRC resources

The Future of Readability Research

The Readability Consortium had a banner second year with expanded areas of research, community growth, and further dissemination of knowledge and resources. We are excited to continue to move readability research forward in the year ahead. We, along with our partners and community, will continue to enhance readability for people of all ages and abilities through collaborative research, creating open-source tools, and developing big data around digital reading. Learn more and join us in enhancing readability for all.