Talk | Dynamic Font Day 2023

Design matters: Usage of digital media by Easy-to-read audience

12:40 — 13:20

Sabina Sieghart
Hasselt, Belgium

Shading some light into the blackbox of users with cognitive impairments.

Easy to read (ETR) is a tool for simplifying text. While Covid has given a huge boost to digital ETR products, we do not know enough about how the target group – people with low reading ability due to intellectual disabilities – interact with digital media.
Linguistic and social sciences have long neglected the contribution of well-crafted typography and User Interface design to text comprehension. Design research in this area is scarce, yet it is the only way to improve the sometimes dysfunctional guidelines and thus improve the reading experience for this target group.
Designer and design researcher Sabina Sieghart (currently a PhD student at READSEARCH, Belgium) will present a study that observed the interaction of 20 German ETR users with PDF and HTML documents designed according to WCAG guidelines. We see how ETR users navigate in digital media, which digital design patterns they use, and their (often visual) workarounds to compensate for their low reading skills.