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2017 US Government Website Clarity Index

“VisibleThread’s Web Clarity Index is a methodology for measuring the clarity of web content. In 2016, Visible Thread published an Index as a follow-up comparison to a 2011 review of 29 federal agency websites based on clarity of written content. We measured up to 100 pages on each website, across these four dimensions:

  • Readability – How readable is the content?
  • Passive Language – Active Language communicates clearly. What proportion of sentences is passive?
  • Long Sentences – What proportion of all sentences are too long?
  • Word Complexity Density – Complex words make web pages hard to understand.

The 2017 analysis is a follow-up and comparison of federal agency websites that were indexed in 2016. Changes in the White House administration, particularly between political parties, frequently bring change to agencies. As policy changes, content must reflect new priorities and changes to programs and the law. VisibleThread was interested if these changes would impact website clarity…”

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