This project is an individual UX design project.
Initial research on Reddit Community r/adhd helped me examine the following questions:
Q1: What is reading like for users with ADHD?
- Maintaining focus in reading is particularly hard when the user is not interested in the content due to low motivation
- May get stuck rereading the same sentence/paragraph over and over and not be immersed or absorb any content
Q2: How do users with ADHD use browsers?
- Tend to leave a large number of tabs open
- Tend to get distracted or irritated by website elements like pop-ups, gifs and auto-play
Q3: What are some existing techniques that improve reading experience for users with ADHD?
- Audio books or text-to-speech, which allow the users to do other activities while listening
- Graphics novels which are more engaging than plain texts
- Gamification or incentive system for managing tasks
- Give personal motivators: Interest, Challenge, Novelty and Urgency
- Reading combine with note-taking
- Use of reading immersion tools such as https://123reac.co/
- Use of organization/reading tools such as Pocket
Establish Problem & Target Users
How might we improve the reading experience on desktop websites for users with ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder)?
The problem I suspect is that users with ADHD may experience trouble organizing their readings, tracking their reading progress, and maintaining focus while reading online.
My immediate target users are university students with ADHD who constantly need to finish compulsory readings and do a lot of online research.
Interviews with two college students who self-report to have attention issues.
Interview with a 21-year-old female college student, who felt she has attention issues:
- Has the habit of printing out readings to highlight or take notes
- Uses OneNote and touch pen laptop to take notes in class, which simulate a physical notebook
- Occasionally expands the browser window as much as possible to mimic full-screen view when reading online. Occasionally uses full-screen view feature in Word.
Interview with a 21-year-old male college student, who is also experiencing attention issues -> Persona: Drew Daniels
Persona: Drew Daniels
- Age: 21
- College senior studying in a media art & design program at a major private university in the city of New York
- Multimedia performance artist
Environment and habits:
- Very familiar with web technology and searching for desired information online
- Tend to avoid readings when possible and find sources that can substitute readings, such as video tutorials.
Problem & Pain Points
- Feels bored and get distracted easily when reading for mandatory assignments that he is not interested in.
- Has a hard time organizing and keeping track of all the readings from multiple classes and different projects
- To do well in school
- To create amazing artwork and performances
- Complete mandatory readings (usually digitally) from school and write responses/reflections
- Do online research for projects and inspirations
Drew was introduced to Pocket and he is now a new user of Pocket Desktop Site and Save to Pocket Browser Extension
He is happy that he can now organize his readings and research by tags and highlight the important content.
However, he find it inconvenient that he needs to open a new tab and go to Pocket to enter reading mode and that there is no easy way to take notes.
Potential Solution & Hypothesis
Improve and expand on Save to Pocket Chrome extension so that it:
- Allows users to toggle on Reading Mode immediately without opening another tab in browser -> this should reduce the digital distractions for users and simplifying the steps they take to use Pocket Reading Mode
- Allows full-screen view -> this should reduce the digital distractions for users and make reading more immersive
- Allows bookmark at specific reading location -> this reminds users where to continue reading
- Allows content highlight & note-taking in Reading Mode -> this helps users to remain active when reading and remember what they are thinking when reading
- Allows text-to-speech reading of selected content -> this relieves users from taking in information only visually
- Number of users download the extension increases.
- Percent of users who uses the extension at least once a week (user activity) increases.