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20NTC Session Proposal

Lower Literacy Users, the forgotten 43% of the US

Submitted by: Rajneesh Aggarwal NTEN Member badge | Provoc


Do you live in fear of “dumbing down” your content because you see highly accessible language as a possible detriment to your brand? The US Department of Education’s National Assessment of Adult Literacy identifies 43% of the US population as “low literacy.” Lower-literacy web users have different reading and navigational strategies than higher-literacy users, such as reading every word, focusing on a narrow field of view, and skipping chunks of text. It has been noted that making a site more usable for lower-literacy users benefits all users and thus the fear of “dumbing down” content and design is unfounded. A more radical set of guidelines must be discovered, tested, and refined to increase participation from this audience. In this session, we learn about lower literacy users and how you can create content that not only benefits them, but all users, as the way we take in information is rapidly changing.

Learning Outcomes

  • Learn who lower literacy users are and why you should care about them
  • Learn the pitfalls of not addressing these users’ needs.
  • Learn how to meet these users’ needs and in turn benefit all users.

Target Audience

Marketing and Communications Staff and Firms doing UX and Content Strategy for nonprofits

Additional Speakers

John Nicholson, Started User Research at GEICO, Marketade


Content StrategyDEIDigital InclusionOrg Culture

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