Scientifically, the more difficult something is to read, the more difficult we perceive it to be.

The difficulty could be a font style which is demanding to read, small unclear print, or even an unfamiliar letter combination that makes a word difficult to say, but the upshot is the same – our brains find the text more difficult to process.

And that, in turn, can negatively affect our perception of what we’re reading, our response to it, and our subsequent behaviour.

For example,

instructions written in this font

are more likely to be deemed understandable or reasonable than

instructions written in this font.

and yet both use the same words and the same font size.

It also assumes that all readers have the same reading fluency, which may not be the case.

The more difficult text is to decipher, whether through font style, font size, or familiarity of letter order, the longer it takes. Besides which, in English there are 26 letters which combine to create 42 sounds – quite a lot more than in most other languages – and English spelling to sound rules don’t always make/maik/mayk much sense.

That’s quite enough fluency friction for most people, so why complicate things further?

The longer or harder text is to read for whatever reason, the less engaged customers are likely to become. They assume something is more difficult, they find it harder to make a decision – and that could make the difference between buying or not.

So, if you want to maximise the ease with which customers engage with your written words, increase access and minimise friction by keeping text simple, short, easy to say and easy to read.

That way, choosing your product or service may be something customers to find easier to do.