Something that was very important to me when designing this website was that I made it as helpful as possible to people with dyslexia. There are a few people who are very close to my heart that have dyslexia, therefore I want to be able to share my articles with them in the most convenient method possible.
1. The first thing I did was change the background color of my posts from the default color pure white, which is coded as the hexidecimal color #FFFFFF, to a pleasant creamy shade. I use #FDFFED.
2. Supplementary to that, I changed my default font color from true black #000000 to a charcoal gray, #333333. Yes! The letters you are reading are actually gray! But isn’t it easy on the eyes? These first two changes probably benefit all readers since they are so much less strenuous to look at.
3. I then made my font sizes larger. For titles, I changed the size from 18 to 28, and made them bold. I changed my regular-use font from 12 to 16. Another great option I took advantage of was to make the spacing between lines a tiny bit bigger; not too much, but just enough to reduce glare and make each line of text a little more refined.
4. Because I have heard that serifs, or those little fancy things on the edges of some fonts like Times New Roman, are not helpful to readers, I chose the font Arial font family for its clarity. Not to mention, I like it so much better! So sans serif fonts, it is.
As a quick offshoot, Dutch company Printer.com tested fonts for their efficiency of ink and found that Century Gothic topped the list as using the least amount of ink. Times New Roman was second, but only because the letters are smaller and finer than fonts without serifs. Arial was next, as well as Calibri and Verdana. So I would use Century Gothic because it is just so clear AND earth and wallet friendly, but it’s not as widely supported on the web as Arial.
Back to my main point…
5. I try to keep paragraphs brief. Again, I believe this benefits all readers in keeping their place and being convenient to read.
6. I only use one space after each sentence. Growing up I had a friend who learned to put two spaces between each sentence, and it drove me nuts. That seemed to me a terrible and unnecessary waste of space, time, and effort. Too much wear and tear on that poor space bar and your thumbs! That habit harkens back to the typewriter days when letters were set very close so that pressing the space bar twice after each sentence did in fact help define the sentence.
7. I stick with left-alignment. I don’t justify my text. However, once in a while you will see me center something. I am very conscientious when I do this, but sometimes it just must be done for balance and Feng-shui purposes.
8. I use all real, full words. I try not to use shorthand or Short Message Service (SMS) abbreviations or slang.
9. If I feel I must really stress a word, I make it bold. I don’t use italics or underlines, nor do I use all capital letters or have my site in all lowercase. Some people actually use all lower case letters for style, but personally, I think it reflect submissiveness and low self-esteem, but I’ll save that for another article.
10. I refrain from using textured text or backgrounds.
11.Behind the scenes on my web design, I don’t use frames, because as I understand it frames can mess up the flow of an article for people who use an audio reader.
12. Likewise, I really, really try hard not to use graphics with text in them since audio readers miss them. This is really hard since I love funny animal memes, however, usually the text is so brief or the picture is so cute that the meaning of the text takes a back seat.
13. If I write very long articles, I plan to put a topic list at the beginning, so people can scroll through to the sections they are most interested in.
My Header breaks quite a few of my rules: the text is against a gradient, my Trajan Pro font has serifs, and it’s an image file containing text so most audio readers won’t pick it up. However, if you’re reading my site, chances are you know where you are. Because the header is there for style rather than content, I went with it because I found it visually pleasing.
I am aware that everyone who has dyslexia has different preferences and are dyslexic to different degrees and in different ways, however I tried to make this site as user-friendly as possible. I’m thinking of you, guys!
If you have any suggestions or improvements I should make, please shoot me an email or use my contact form and let me know. Again, what works for you may not work for someone else, so I may or may not change it, but I would love your input and your help. Thank you, and enjoy the site!