Voting and Dyslexia

We conducted a usability evaluation to assess the quality of the user experience for users with dyslexia on the Michigan.gov website. Participants who have dyslexia, specifically college students of voting age, were asked to perform typical tasks, such locating the Michigan’s voter registration requirements, checking to see if he/she is registered to vote, finding out what type of voting equipment is used in the city of Lansing, and searching for the second ballot issue for the midterm election. Research-based practical recommendations to address the difficulties expressed by dyslexic users of the voting site served as an important step toward understanding and establishing web usability standards for users with reading disorders.

Publications

  • McCarthy, J. E., & Swierenga, S. J. (2010). What we know about dyslexia and accessibility: A research review. Universal Access in the Information Society Journal, 9(2), 147-152. Available online at: http://www.springerlink.com/content/gp12855m50325086/
  • Swierenga, S. J., Porter, J. E., Ghosh, S., & McCarthy, J. E. (2008). Usable websites for dyslexic users: A voting website user study. In Usability Professionals’ Association 2008 Conference Proceedings. Bloomingdale, IL: Usability Professionals’ Association.
  • Walser, K., Quesenbery, W., & Swierenga, S. (2008). Designing for cognitive disabilities. In Usability Professionals’ Association 2008 Conference Proceedings. Bloomingdale, IL: Usability Professionals’ Association.
  • Swierenga, S. J., Porter, J. E., Ghosh, S., & McCarthy, J. E. (2008). Dyslexia and website design: The importance of user-based testing. Presentation at the International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry (QI2008) Conference. Urbana-Champaign, IL: University of Illinois.