I was a research intern at Microsoft Research (MSR) last summer of 2017 mentored by Dr. Meredith Ringel Morris and Dr. Adam Fourney. I came aboard an existing project they had worked on to understand the needs of web searchers with dyslexia. I have done and published work in the past researching computer accessibility during my undergraduate and masters studies at the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC). I also have done work specifically with people with dyslexia during a summer when I was a visiting researcher at Carnegie Mellon University and helped create the dyslexia-detecting game Dytective. So, working on a project for increasing the accessibility of computers for people with dyslexia was a good fit for my summer internship project at Microsoft. Despite it not being the core focus of my doctoral studies at the UW iSchool.
Information Retrieval; Accessibility.
During my time at MSR, I built on ten phone interviews conducted with searchers with dyslexia by running an online survey with 81 adults with dyslexia and 80 non-dyslexic adults to better understand the difficulties searchers encounter when trying to find information online. We identified ten search queries from the phone interviews which were described by people with dyslexia as ‘challenging.’ I built an online tool that presents webpages from our ten search queries to users and asks them to rate the readability and relevance of said pages. We used the tool to collect readability data from 174 adults with dyslexia and 172 without. I also built another tool to analyze the same web pages looking for different features such as font styles, presence of multimedia content on the page, text length among others. We analyzed the data from the different studies and published a full paper at the ACM SIGCHI 2018 conference on human-computer interaction, and a short paper at the ACM SIGIR 2018 conference on information retrieval
Microsoft Research (Redmond).