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Size matters (spacing not): 18 points for a dyslexic-friendly Wikipedia

Luz Rello, Martin Pielot, Mari-Carmen Marcos, Roberto Carlini

Size matters (spacing not): 18 points for a dyslexic-friendly Wikipedia

ACM, Proceedings of the 10th International Cross-Disciplinary Conference on Web Accessibility, May 2013

 

Abstract

In 2012, Wikipedia was the sixth-most visited website on the Internet. Being one of the main repositories of knowledge, students from all over the world consult it. But, around 10% of these students have dyslexia, which impairs their access to text-based websites. How could Wikipedia be presented to be more readable for this target group? In an experi­ ment with 28 participants with dyslexia, we compare read­ ing speed, comprehension, and subjective readability for the font sizes 10, 12, 14, 18, 22, and 26 points, and line spac­ings 0.8, 1.0, 1.4, and 1.8. The results show that font size has a significant effect on the readability and the under­ standability of the text, while line spacing does not. On the basis of our results, we recommend using 18-point font size when designing web text for readers with dyslexia. Our results significantly differ from previous recommendations, presumably, because this is the first work to cover a wide range of values and to study them in the context of an actual website. 

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