Michelle Couch
UX/UI Designer

Remarkable

Writing with Accessibility

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Overview

Remarkable, Writing with Accessibility takes Grammarly and puts accessibility tools center stage to help people with Learning Disabilities, such as dyslexia, feel more
“normal,” smarter, and more successful instead of “hiding.”

The Need

Problem Statement

Adults with learning disabilities need a comprehensive and accessible way to help them with their reading, writing, and spelling not to embarrass themselves in the workplace.

How long should it take to write an email?
"Ideally, each email will take 30 seconds to write...but five minutes is the max."
But in many cases people could spend over a hour.
“It can take me a long time, checking and rechecking my spelling and grammar."

I just spent about over an hour replying to an email checking and rechecking.

“After I’ve written an email, I recheck it twice or thrice before I send. If it is a long email I have to write, I write in a word processor before I copy and paste. I do this because I don’t want to make mistakes and embarrass myself."

Let’s take a step back to 1984.

And meet Agnes.

On a warm spring day, a little girl sat outside a classroom trying to read a biography on Amelia Earhart. She is learning that girls can be and do whatever they desire, skies the limit.

Why can’t a woman fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean? The 3rd grader doesn’t
know because Amelia Earhart had done it. 

On the other side of the peachy brick wall, a proud mom and dad are told that their little girl did have limits, she had a learning disability. A 3rd-grade teacher tells the parents their daughter would most likely not graduate from high school; she would get a certificate stating that she attended high school but not a diploma.


The door opens, and the little girl looks at her mom, whose eyes were full of tears, and her dad just smiles as they walked towards her. She gathers her stuff and her “most favorite book,“ or better known as the first long-form book she has ever tried to read.

"A learning disability cannot be cured or fixed; it is a lifelong challenge."
Remarkable
Remarkable
Remarkable
Scope, Strategy and Process

Once the need has been identified, the next step is to understand the problem and develop the scope, strategy, and process to find a solution.
Project Team of One

Strategy & Process
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Remarkable

Project Plan and Timeline

Phase 0ne —Understanding and Defining Business Case

March/April/May — 8 Weeks

Phase Two— Observation, Ideation, Prototyping, Testing and Analyzes

July/August — 8 Weeks

Research and Discovery

Research Goals

  • The goal is also to determine whether there is a large enough user base for the solution. 

  • Would it be beneficial to users with or without learning disabilities if a text editor was more accessible?

  • Is a single solution achievable?

  • To identify the essential technologies and find a way to leverage it into a single solution.

  • Can we meet the users' needs and providing accessibility options that meet their learning styles?

Mind Map
Remarkable
Mobile Competitive Analysis — Users Feedbacks
There is no one-size-fits-all solution. All solutions rely on Assistive Technologies’ built-in iOS. To make technology accessible to people with learning disabilities, we need to connect the dots.

There is no one-size-fits-all solution. All solutions rely on Assistive Technologies’ built-in iOS.
To make technology accessible to people with learning disabilities, we
need to connect the dots.

User Pain Points:

User Pain Points:

  • “Buggy.“

  • “Basically Useless.“

  • “Won’t Quit Crashing.“

  • “Scam.“

  • Big help and the right time“ Great App (when it works.)

  • Developer Responses: “It sounds like you haven’t enabled full access yet.“ (cost $139.99 annually)

User Motivations:

"Become the smartest person in the room."

“I don’t have to feel lazy or broken or useless. Thank you for making me feel normal.“

“I have dyslexia and ADHD, felt cursed but the app helped her overcome and is a needed tool for her day-to-day-life.“ 

Take-away from Competitive Analysis

There are a ton of solutions in the marketplace that are using Assistive Technologies (AT) in different ways to help adults with and without Learning Disabilities (LD) be ‘smarter,’ ‘be normal,’ and be successful. But not just a “one-stop-shop“ solution. The solution needs to leverage the built-in AT on a device and bring text-to-speech (TTS), Digital TTS Books, Optical Character Recognition (OCR), display controls, dictation (speech-to-text), built-in word prediction, spellcheck, and grammar check together in one place.

Baseline Learning Disability Survey

24 Participants, most were teachers, administrators,
and staff at school and Universities

Dyslexia

is trouble read which makes reading comprehension, spelling, and writing hard. It is easy to “hide” a reading problem but not spelling and write in a professional setting.

Considered a Learning Disability

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder

ADHD is one of the most common mental disorders/ neurodevelopmental disorders that is more behavioral than a LD but can make learning difficult.

NOT Considered a Learning Disability

Narrowed 
the focus
to Dyslexia

Top Five Assistive 
Technologies Identified

Both for people with LD’s as well as useful to mainstream users.

  • Spellcheck

  • Grammar check

  • Built-in word prediction

  • Text-to-speech

  • Dictation

Focused Survey with Adults Dyslexia

You can write here as much as you want, this text will always look nice, whether you write longer paragraphs or just a few words. Click here and try it out.

6
Diagnosed with Dyslexia
5
Self-Diagnosed with Dyslexia
11
Total Participants
with Dyslexia
Pivot and Focus

Target Audience Assumptions from Initial Research

Adults with Learning/Reading Disabilities
Age: 18 and above
Education level: High-school certificate 
or a high-school diploma
Income: $25,000 and below
Gender: Male

Target Audience Assumptions After Surveys

Adult with Dsylisia
Age: 35-64 range
Education level: Associate degree, Bachelor’s degree, Master’s degree
Income: $50,000 and above
Gender: Female

Assistive 
Technologies
Remarkable
“Dyslexic kids are creative, ‘outside-the-box’ thinkers.
They have to be, because they don’t see or solve problems the same way other kids do."
Rick Riordan, American Author
(Diagnosed Dyslexia)

When asked why do you "hide" your Learning Disability?

“I don’t have a LD. 
I have dyslexia!”

“I really hid it when I was younger but the old I get I've started owning it.”

“I try very hard to ‘hide’ it my work product, but own it as part of my identity.”

“It doesn't really matter.”

Accessibility 
for Dyslexia

Typography

  • Larger font size

  • Avoid underlining and italics —Use bold 

  • Avoid uppercase/capital letters and small caps

  • Add extra space around headings 

  • Add extra space between paragraphs

  • Ensure hyperlinks look different from headings and normal text

  • Use dark colored text on a light (not white) background

  • Left align text, without justification

  • Avoid multiple columns (as used in newspapers)

  • Lines should not be too long: 60 to 70 characters

Visual Styling

  • White Space is Good.

  • Use single-color backgrounds.

  • Avoid background patterns or pictures
    and distracting surrounds

  • Avoid green and red/pink

  • Use cream or soft pastels for the background

  • Icons with text vs. icons without text

Navigation/Tools Audit of Competitors
Remarkable
One user called her currently using accessibility tools is 'Frankensteined.'
Exploration

User Persona
Remarkable
Key Insights
Remarkable

With or without a learning disability,
almost 75 percent of people surveyed would use an all-in-one solution text editor.

Remarkable

Dyslexia is the most commonly diagnosed learning disability.

Remarkable

From our research, the initial profile of users who did not go on to further their education was off target. An initial user profile would include females over 30 with a degree ranging from an associate's to a master's. We want to start there and build a larger user base to serve people of all education levels.

Remarkable

With the availability of Assistive Technologies, people can actually “hide“ their disabilities in the digital age. People who wanted to “hide“ were more numerous, but the results were mixed.

Remarkable

The market for Remarkable is more narrow than first thought, but the good news is that it would benefit anyone who struggles with writing.

Journey Map
Remarkable
Designing and Prototyping

Ideation

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Remarkable
Low-Fidelity to High-Fidelity

Prototype
Design System
Remarkable
Reflections and Next Steps

Reflections

Human-centered design and user experience design are about the user first and the client a close second. My job is to make it easy for the user to use a product to come back again and again because the user has been a part of the design thinking process from the very beginning. I will have assumptions, but they will be tested and researched based on facts, not generalization and stereotypes. No one wants to be held down by stereotypes that are often wrong.

Lessons Learned

  • UX Design is not a “one-man-band,“ there are too many ways of looking for a solution; the more minds, the better, and I like it that way.

  • Users will see and use things much differently than I may assume.

  • And test, test, test because time moves faster than you think and you always want information. 

  • Files organization and naming conventions are a must!

Lessons Learned

  •  Address the feedback from the Product Manager and Developer.

  • The prototype is rougher than I would like to refine it. 

  • Competition is essential, and building out the design system would help.

  • Follow up with the disabilities advocate in California about a possible collaboration.

  • And always more testing!