Project #03 – Cloze testing

The problem

Cloze tests are a quick and cheap way to check if something is easy to understand. Imagine taking a piece of writing and removing every fifth or sixth word, then asking people to fill in the blanks. This helps us see if the writing is clear or if it might confuse readers. For more details, you can read my full blog post about it.

The strategy

  • We want to see things from the reader’s point of view.
  • We check if long pieces of writing are tough or confusing for readers or if they find them easy to follow.

Why you should care

  • Reading long texts, like terms and conditions or privacy policies, can sometimes be annoying or hard to get through.
  • That’s why Content Designers use Cloze tests. It helps us make sure our writing is easy for everyone to understand, even the short bits like Micro-Copy.

In short, Cloze tests help us write in a way that’s simple and clear for everyone.

examples of cloze testing

For this project, I tried out a Cloze test with three of my family members. Afterwards, I looked closely at the results to see how easy or hard it was to read the main points.

What I did

  • Review: I carefully looked at the original text and the version with missing words.
  • Distribution: I sent the version with missing words to three family members who aren’t taking this course. This way, I could get honest opinions.
  • Execution: Since we couldn’t be in the same place, I used Apple FaceTime to talk to them live and Google Docs so they could type their answers in real-time.

Tools I used

  • Google Docs for the copy
  • Apple FaceTime for video calls
  • ChatGPT for help with analysis

About the test

The test was about Data Privacy and Duolingo, specifically how Duolingo looks after user data in their Data Vault. It talked about things like how users can see, download, delete, or ask to remove their data, showing how users can control their personal information.

Results

The family members tried to guess the missing words. Their different answers showed me how well they understood the text. Some had different ideas about how data is managed and used by Duolingo.

Grading the results

It was tricky to figure out how well they did because I had to compare their answers to the original text. I used ChatGPT to help me see how many of their guesses were right and work out a readability score for each person.

The scores and what they mean

Test #01 got a 45% score.
Test #02 got a 40% score.
Test #03 got a 47% score.

These scores are below 60%, which means the text might be too hard to understand. This could make readers feel confused or frustrated.

Conclusion

With an average readability score of 44% across the evaluated submissions, it’s shown that the content poses comprehension challenges. Based on this limited Cloze Test, I advocate for a thorough rewrite of the text to enhance clarity and ensure a more user-friendly experience. If you want to read a copy of this project, as submitted to the UX Design Institute, I invite you to see the Google Doc.

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