Font for dyslexia research shows dyslexic children read faster, make fewer mistakes and use less mental energy when reading text in the OmoType font system. Detailed results from independent comparative and eye tracker research are published in the whitepaper.
DYSLEXIA and reading
Reading is a complex skill, but also a prerequisite for success in our society. We receive a great deal of information in writing. Just like bike riding, reading is a skill that needs to be mastered. But, the more we get on a bike, the more proficient we become. The same applies to reading. We have to read a lot to acquire the reading skills.
Learning to read is a process. The crucial step is learning how to connect the letters to their corresponding sounds. This is precisely what seems to be the core problem in dyslexia – decoding or mapping letters onto their sounds. Dyslexia is a language-based learning difficulty. To be more specific – a phonological disorder.
Lately, the technology trends for people with dyslexia include tools that convert text to speech. Undoubtedly, these tools are of great help. Especially during the course of one’s education. However, using text-to-speech technology, dyslexics are not working on their core problem – reading. There is no magical solution to this problem. Learning to read requires explicit instructions, repetition, and supervision. Besides, reading difficulties in dyslexia do not simply disappear. People with dyslexia will never be great readers, but they can improve with practice.
IS THERE A FONT FOR DYSLEXIA?
Fonts present reading interfaces. It is well known that people prefer certain fonts over others. Some find the shapes of letters in certain fonts to be more appealing and easier to read. This is why we came up with the idea of creating a more readable font. Not only for people with dyslexia but for all people who struggle with reading.
Research on the impact of fonts on the readability of texts in people with dyslexia is a relatively new area. So far, the results have shown that the type of font affects text readability in people with dyslexia. In addition to that, some dyslexia associations recommend fonts that are more readable for people with dyslexia.
COMPARATIVE AND EYE TRACKER RESEARCH
The first research was conducted during the process of designing OmoType. The aim of this research was to compare OmoType, Arial, Times New Roman, and Dyslexie and to study the effect of fonts on readability.
With eye tracker research the aim was to compare OmoType and Open Dyslexic fonts and to study the effect of fonts on readability. Open Dyslexic is a free font type, designed specifically for people with dyslexia. For this research the most common measures of reading characteristics were taken into account: a number of fixations, duration of fixations, and reading duration. Reading comprehension was also monitored.
In both research, only one version of the OmoType font was tested.
WHAT ARE THE EFFECTS OF OMOTYPE AS A FONT FOR DYSLEXIA?
The results from these studies suggest that children with dyslexia read faster and with fewer errors the text written in the OmoType font than in any of the other two specialized fonts for dyslexia – Dyslexie and Open Dyslexic. Furthermore, according to their visual preferences, they prefer to read texts in OmoType. The result of the eye-tracking research is particularly interesting. Children with dyslexia appeared to have shorter fixations while reading texts in the OmoType font. These results indicate higher readability of texts written in this font, which ultimately leads to a better understanding of the text.
Read about the complete research in the whitepaper.