Digital Readability Research Community-Building Workshop

VSS 2024

The Vision Science of Digital Readability: a fundamental part of the everyday lives of people all over the world



A community of scientific inquiry is emerging around reading in the digital interface. On-screen text is indeed now a fundamental part of everyday life, the world over.


Lives are increasingly impacted by the ability to quickly comprehend button text, navigational menus, news reports, chat messages, advertisements, emails, search results, articles, and digital publications.


Academic disciplines ranging from vision science to computer science are finding it central to their work to have a mechanistic and applied understanding of reading processes.


The research is highly distributed, and this diversity is both valuable and challenging for each researcher to build and maintain an overview of emerging significant research knowledge and trends.


Workshop goals

In this workshop, participants will share experimental approaches and current pressing issues in digital reading research and promote future collaboration across:


Disciplines. The workshop participants will include specialists from diverse academic disciplines including, but not limited to, vision science, machine learning, and accessibility.


Cultural perspectives. The workshop participants will include people from diverse cultural perspectives, through regional and 1st language diversity. We will promote cross-cultural studies through emphasizing readability research beyond English and the Latin writing system.


Collectively we will create guidelines that emphasize the important current challenges and possible future directions in readability research that will help researchers ask more directed questions and develop better experimental designs.

Tentative Schedule

Chairs: Ben D. Sawyer (University of Central Florida) and Nilsu Atilgan (The Readability Consortium)
  • Opening remarks (10 minutes)

Ben D. Sawyer (University of Central Florida)

Nilsu Atilgan (The Readability Consortium)

  • Short talks (90 minutes)

Denis Pelli (New York University, USA) 

Ben Wolfe (University of Toronto Mississauga, Canada) 

Minjung Kim (Meta Reality Labs) 

Hilary Palmén (Google LLC) 

Shaun Wallace (University of Rhode Island, USA) 

Yingzi Xiong (John Hopkins University, USA) 

More to come

  • Coffee break (15 minutes)
  • Small group discussions (20 minutes)

Creation of a mind map for future research directions and guidelines

  • Whole group discussion and closing remarks (40 minutes)

Dr. Ben D. Sawyer

University of Central Florida

Dr. Steven Clapp

University of Central Florida

Dr. Nilsu Atilgan

The Readability Consortium


Dr. Shaun Wallace

University of Rhode

Dr. Hilary Palmén


Dr. Ben Wolfe

University of Toronto Mississauga

Dr. Denis Pelli

New York University

Minjung Kim

Meta Reality Labs

Dr. Yingzi Xiong

John Hopkins University