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Creating A More Inclusive
Digital Reading Experience

Academic Project & Microsoft Inclusive Design 2023



Enhancing reading accessibility in CBC News app to benefit diverse users, particularly those with dyslexia, for more comfortable and effective content absorption.

📩 The following case study aims to make a product/service more inclusive, embracing a broad range of users, which gave me a valuable learning experience towards diversity and accessibility. I was tasked to redesign a single simple feature in an existing app for a mismatched human interaction to make a more seamless digital experience.


UX Research
Product Strategy
Interaction Design


Oct - Nov 2023
(7 Weeks)





CBC News provides quality reading-accessible features.

Users can customize the display according to their needs, such as layout adjustments, types of font, and dark mode. These features allow a larger range of CBC users to enjoy a delightful and comfortable reading experience on their phones.


However, the features still cannot break the accessibility barriers of many different user groups including their dyslexic users.

As a result, It has become necessary to use multiple third-party apps to have a better comprehension of news content to absorb comfortably, causing inconvenience to their digital reading experience.


HMW improve the reading accessibility to make it easier to read specifically
for dyslexic users while also accommodating a larger range of users?


A built-in highlighting feature helps many ranges of CBC users including dyslexic users better access news content.

1. Highlighting.gif

Tailored Highlights specifically for Dyslexic users

Dyslexic users can seamlessly highlight essential information, eliminating the struggle to remember crucial details or getting lost in dense paragraphs. This intuitive tool enhances their connection with news content, providing an engaging and efficient way to absorb information.

Effortless Retrieval of Saved for English-learning & On-the-Go users

The users can also effortlessly revisit and check their highlighted excerpts in Saved. Tailored for those seeking comprehension and efficient vocabulary retention, this feature adapts to their linguistic needs. It also serves as a handy bookmark for users, allowing them to save progress and quickly access specific points later.

2. Saved.gif
3. Colour setting.gif

Customized Highlight colours in Setting

Users can effortlessly select their preferred highlight colours in the Setting. It allows them to tailor their reading experience according to their preferences, making each highlight visually distinctive and uniquely their own.



Key behavioural factors impacting dyslexic users when digitally reading content.


Short-term memory

Dyslexics often experience severe short-term memory problems due to the nature of their condition, which affects their ability to process and store information efficiently.


Color contrast

A coloured overlay for people with dyslexia when reading texts makes a considerable difference, making text more accessible.


Different text Perception

People with dyslexia perceive text as if the words or letters are inverted, partially reversed, scrambled, and unclear while reading.


Use of Assistive technology

Assistive technology can significantly aid individuals with dyslexia by providing tools and resources that address their specific reading and learning challenges.


Talking to a dyslexic user.

Talking to user.png


The interview covered general questions regarding her experience with dyslexia and discussions about her reading habits, pain points, and the use of assistive technologies, particularly for mobile reading. All responses were carefully considered to explore a wide range of possibilities for potential solutions.

Pain Point

The participant copes with dyslexia by adjusting font sizes, colours, and spacing, highlighting the need for more comprehensive dyslexic-friendly features in the CBC News app.


Synthesize all the research findings to extract meaningful user insights, which informed the direction of the design process.

Research triangulation.png

Next, I translated those insights into design opportunities to identify areas for improvement within the reading experience.

💡A wider spectrum of users

💡Streamlined reading process

The challenge of processing and comprehending text, leading to fatigue with reduced focus, also affects a broader range of users, including language learners and those in specific situations.

💡Text highlighting feature

The CBC News app doesn't offer a text highlighting feature that empowers users to enhance reading comprehension, memory retention, and focus.

Integrate dyslexia-friendly reading features directly into the CBC News app to enhance user concentration and productivity without the need for multiple third-party apps.


By mapping constraints into 3 different types, I could expand the range of potential user groups beyond dyslexia, aligning with the opportunities identified.

This approach — permanent, temporary, and situational — allowed me to better understand diverse user groups and their respective constraints, informing the design process to create a more inclusive solution for the CBC News app.

Mapping constraints.png


At this time, I started considering how the highlighting feature could benefit these 3 types of different user groups.

Putting a dyslexic user first, I expanded the target audience to include two additional user groups. This is because all three groups share the common pain point of struggling with short-term memory and concentration while reading content on the app.

Persona spectrum.png


How the highlighting feature works within the CBC News app, accommodating the diverse needs of users?

I envisioned how the highlighting feature could address the specific needs of different user groups and illustrate its adaptability within the CBC News app.


1) HMW optimize the highlighting feature to enhance comprehension of news content?

The user leverages the highlighting tool as an assistive reading aid. She has 5 favourite colours selected in her default setting. She uses them to emphasize specific words or sentences in a paragraph. It allows her to untangle jumbled texts, facilitating a better understanding of the news content.

User Scenarios-1.png

2) HMW optimize the highlighting feature to facilitate vocabulary acquisition and aid in comprehension?

The user highlights unfamiliar sentences to create personalized vocabulary lists, aiding in memorization and comprehension as a learning tool. She selectively highlights key phrases or words in a paragraph, subsequently checking them in the Saved.

User Scenarios-2.png

3) HMW optimize the highlighting feature to facilitate better comprehension and minimize distractions?

The user can easily mark parts in a paragraph or save key information for later reference as a bookmark. It allows him to seamlessly resume reading from where they left off and quickly retrieve important information, ensuring a smooth reading experience on the go.

User Scenarios-3.png


I conducted two rounds of usability test, leading to iterative improvements in the design based on user feedback and observations.

Design iteration-1.png


Highlighting Popup Window

Due to accessibility concerns, the colour wheel icon was excluded from the window as it was too small to distinguish clearly on the mobile screen. Instead, I empowered users to set colours on an intuitively designed palette in Settings.


Card Design in Saved

I added 1) the date history alongside the highlighted text to allow users to refer back to their specific content, and 2) the title of the highlighted content for quick reference and ease of navigation.

Design iteration-2.png


What I learned

Inclusive Design Guidelines.

This project taught me to be more mindful of the varied needs and experiences of users, prompting me to consider accessibility and inclusivity more deeply in my design process. It underscored the importance of prioritizing equity and accessibility for all users, guiding me towards a more inclusive approach to product design.

Be insightful, not only process-driven.

Initially, I was too focused on following specific steps, which sometimes made me feel overwhelmed by unnecessary information that wasn't relevant to the project's goals. However, I soon realized that good design comes from understanding the deeper insights, not just sticking rigidly to a set process. So, I decided to filter out the clutter and focus more on gaining insightful perspectives. It helped improve my design approach by allowing me to see things from different angles.

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