Easeful Reader

A browser extension provides adults with reading dyslexia a sense of independence, support, and the ability to understand by synthesizing text and visual mapping.

 
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Project Overview

Dyslexic brains process information differently, allowing to see the world from a different lens. Imagination, storytelling, empathy and the ability to simplify things while seeing the big picture are unique characteristics of dislexic people. Reading and writing, however, is a challenge. This case study blends human stories of myself, other people with learning differences, and our trusted network of people.

Duration

  • Research - 2 Weeks

  • Strategy - 1 Week

  • Prototype - 2 Week

Project Advisors

Tools

  • Design research

  • Competitive analysis

  • Prototyping 

  • Wireframing

  • Usability testing 

 

What is Dys·lex·i·a?

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I’d like you to take a moment to read the above. This is an example of how many people with dyslexia experience their day-to-day when reading and writing. However, dyslexia is also manifested in different ways for different people.

 
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Value Proposition

Easeful Reader delivers to adults with reading dyslexia a sense of independence, support, and the ability to understand by synthesizing text and visual mapping.

 

link to prototype : https://invis.io/PBOTCUCUJ8R

 

Key Concepts

Powered by Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, the platform helps readers capture key concepts from the reading and allows them to select their thoughts of interest.

Furthermore, this platform uses these thoughts, chosen by the user, and organizes them into a visual map.


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Mind Maps

As the user selects these concepts, a mind map is progressively generated and can be further personalized.

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Controllers

The following affordances enable users to have control of the system during their reading experience.

Read out loud: Enables the user to read out loud to the AI. This allows the platform to evaluate the accuracy of the users’ takeaway on a text. When selected, this feature is always active, except when taking a break or selecting your takeaways.

Take a brake: Allows users to take a break from reading. In addition, this feature would also suggest break times from reading to maintain focus.

Listen to Text: Allows the reader to engage with the reading material using text to speech technology and be adjusted for their comfort.

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Summarize Text

Using the power of machine learning and AI algorithms to summarize large lengths of text, readers can feel less overwhelmed.

MIT Tech Source

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Reading Experience

Readers can be easily distracted by visual stimuli on a full worksheet or page. Using an opaque white overlay to cover sections of the page and a line marker to aid reading helps readers concentrate.

Additionally, using larger font sizes and increasing spacing can help separate sections.

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Contextual Dictionary

This dictionary feature provides an in-depth meaning of a selected word in the context of the reading. Moreover, it also allows readers to save a particular word and hear its correct pronunciation.

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The Research

Secondary Research

In order to identify a particular area of focus, I started by exploring all aspects linked to education and learning differences. I looked at the public and private sector of education as well as the full spectrum of disabilities and the relations between them.

 
 

In most parts of the world, there are governmental laws and regulations that protect students in need of learning accommodations. Unfortunately, even with these regulations in place, most teachers often are not trained to teach children with these learning disabilities, causing children to never reach their potential. The above diagram shows the steps a student or their parents need to take in order to receive support from schools.

 
 

There is a wide range of related disorders and each person is influenced differently by them. ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) and dyslexia are the most common. When combined, they can make learning extremely challenging. The above diagram describes the relationships between each type of learning disability and how they relate to each other.

 
 
 

For this project, I was curious about exploring ways to support adults with dyslexia with navigating their day-to-day by bridging the gap between decoding words and their meaning.

 
 

Primary Research

When doing ethnographic interviews, I spoke with a learning coach, a high-school teacher, a group of college students, and an adult with dyslexia to understand the entire ecosystem of challenges connected to reading and writing.

 
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Journey Maps

Based on the stories shared during my search, I was able to learn the different learning processes and steps adults (with or without dyslexia) take to complete a reading or writing task. The following diagram compares the two reading journeys

 
 

Key Insights

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Market Analysis

Looking at the landscape of assistive technologies, I was able to identify opportunity areas. Many applications let you engage with reading material using the text to speech technology, but there are no tools that allow the synthesis and visualization of text through mind maps.

 
 

Technologies

SummarizeBot and Lexplore are two examples of companies that use using Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning technology for content summarization, analysis of reading accuracy, and comprehension.

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Experience

Guiding Principles

These were the principles that were prioritized in the development of this platform.

Understandable

Information needs to be visualized, accessible, and understood by everyone.

Supportive

Reading text should make people feel empowered and motivated to learn.

Independence

The process of reading and writing should enable people to feel independent.

 

Prototype 1

Paper prototypes allowed me to validate initial concepts. However, due to the complexity of each interaction, participants had to be guided to complete each task.


 

User Feedback

This first round was done using the guerrilla testing method by inviting a variety of participants from my interviews and people I recruited from cafes.

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Prototype 2

Creating a higher fidelity prototype helped participants gain a better understanding of each feature. I tested two versions; one included an AI powered prompt, and the second only showing key concepts.

 

User Feedback

This second round was tested with Robin and other college students. As a result, 50% of participants felt overwhelmed by the elements on the page. Participants preferred seeing a list of key concepts and having control over the amount of synthesized text.

 

Prototype 3

In this third prototype, I presented fewer elements so that participants would feel less overwhelmed. I gathered specific feedback on what information needs to be on the screen.

 

User Feedback

Robin preferred having access to the map as he was reading; the initial call to actions was a little misleading and he wished that he could see his progress.

Additionally, he proposed having a feature that would allow him to select words directly from the document and move them on to the map.

 
 
 

Learnings & Reflections

This project was a great opportunity to work on something that has been an interest of mine for many years, having grown up with dyslexia myself. I identified where I thrive the most within the design phases, where I need to improve as a designer, and that collaboration on a project can also involve individuals that are not members of the project group.

Next Steps

  • Amend wireframes to reflect feedback from Robin and other users.

  • Explore additional prototyping tools and more usability sessions.

  • Develop a business strategy by identifying partnerships and companies that are working on AI and Machine Learning applications.

  • Explore the experience for those who prefer writing rather than visualization as a form or interpretation.

 
 

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