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Mobile search made easier: An ability-based mobile search prototype for people with dyslexia

Reed, J., Macfarlane, A. ORCID: 0000-0002-8057-0737 & Makri, S. ORCID: 0000-0002-5817-4893 (2024). Mobile search made easier: An ability-based mobile search prototype for people with dyslexia. In: CHIIR '24: Proceedings of the 2024 Conference on Human Information Interaction and Retrieval. CHIIR '24: 2024 ACM SIGIR Conference on Human Information Interaction and Retrieval, 10-14 March 2024, Sheffield, United Kingdom. doi: 10.1145/3627508.3638292


Although 1 person in 14 has dyslexia, most search interfaces are designed based on a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach, creating inequity for neurodiverse searchers. This is also the case for mobile search, which accounts for most Google searches. While existing research has found search typically presents greater challenges for people with dyslexia, no prior work has examined how best to support them when searching on mobile devices. Rather than focus on addressing their search difficulties, we adopted an ability-based design approach. This involved designing a prototype, based on modifications to Google’s mobile SERPs, aimed at enhancing their abilities – identified through interviews and observations with mobile searchers with dyslexia. A user evaluation found several of the modifications were useful; they supported searchers with dyslexia in making relevance judgements and boosted their resilience and self-efficacy. Based on these findings, we propose four broad design principles for mobile search interface design. This research provides valuable insight into how to better support mobile searchers with dyslexia that can inform IIR research and design. It also demonstrates the potential of ability-based design approaches in supporting neurodiverse searchers.

Publication Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Additional Information: Copyright © 2024 ACM
Publisher Keywords: Ability-based design, Dyslexia, Inclusive design, Mobile search, Simulated work task situations
Subjects: Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
Departments: School of Science & Technology
School of Science & Technology > Computer Science
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