Dyslexia Mode: an effective accessibility improvement
Dyslexia, a lifelong disorder, makes reading/spelling a challenge for about 10% of the population (according to The British Dyslexia Association (BDA)). The disorder impacts accurate and fluent word reading and spelling.
Brainsum has been fortunate to have entered into a partnership with diginomica nearly 4 years ago. The team at diginomica is always looking to push the agenda forward on how to add to their online portfolio. An excellent example of diginomica’s willingness to find innovative ways to add further nuance to their site was the induction of Dyslexia Mode for greater accessibility for their readers.
We began with A/B testing to make sure that the bounce rate would not get worse after the release of the new feature. The variants were set at 50-50. Once the visitor could see the button, they would see it again and again. We also stored the turned on/off state in a cookie so that once the visitor turned the button on it would then be turned on until the visitor turned it off. We further tested in an incognito window, without having any other windows opened simultaneously. We also checked and made sure it worked properly in Google Analytics.
Dyslexia mode was given the green light by dignomica and we went live in early July, 2021. We were happy to get great public feedback after the launch, from a wide range of users:
This subproject was really rewarding for us as an agency.
We’re proud to have completed this and we appreciate diginomica for giving us this opportunity to help expand their reader base and allow us to further appreciate a vital practice to web development.
Regarding our learning lessons learned in helping us move forward and progress in current and future Accessibility projects, the main issues that arose were:
- Removing reading type note
- Primary category - Narrowing down affected users in A/B testing
- Dyslexia font from dyslexiefont.com - old fonts vs. new fonts
Overall, we came away with a new sense of value added coming from a reformed focus on accessibility. We feel that adding in a Dyslexia mode allows our clientele to open up to new opportunities to be more inclusive while opening up to a greater user base.
For more on the introduction of dyslexia mode, have a look at diginomica’s own take: Introducing dyslexia mode - a new reading option for diginomica content.