UX Writing for People with Dyslexia

Three years ago I found out my friend had dyslexia. How can design help ease reading and writing process for people with dyslexia?

Karina Nguyen

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I was an Editor in Chief for the magazine Literati during my senior year of high school in New Hampshire. It was a pretty hectic time, when everyone was busy with writing essays, finishing up art portfolios, and preparing for SATs. But I was so so lucky to be in an absolutely non-competitive, friendly environment during that time, where we helped each other every night and where our college counselors stayed up till 12 am to help every student.

Funny story, but I didn’t even consider applying to Berkeley at all. It was actually one of my closest friends, who made me apply to Berkeley two days before the deadline. Yeah, Jin Na, I am looking at you!

One of the most valuable lessons that my mom taught me was to always find time to help friends in the most challenging for them times no matter how busy I am. She always says that It’s not about who is the smartest or prettiest girl in the class, it’s about who is the kindest person in the class.

During that time, my Italian friend came up to me asking for help with college essays. I was more than happy to help no matter that I had so many things to do because this how i was brought up. And also because I like reading people’s thoughts and opinions through their writings.

I opened the document he sent me in the email. To be honest, I was shooked. I saw all three ideas in one sentence, every other word underlined in red, and lots of missed punctuation. It was unexpected for me because I always thought he was good at writing.

It was until his fifth essay that I read, which shifted my whole perspective on everything about writing: words, fonts, typefaces, letters, sentences, syntax, grammar, everything. Immediately every red line and font choice made sense for me.

Unfortunately, I don’t have original writing, but this is a fully edited passage with the changed font that was really dumb of me. I shouldn’t have changed it because it was literally unreadable for him.

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Karina Nguyen

applied artist & researcher | prev. @nytimes, @dropbox, @square