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6.6 a11y - Article reading fluency
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The reading experience is very difficult. When scrolling piece-by-piece, each “chunk” that it reads is whatever is in the exact same style. Anything bold, any link (including references), etc. - all those are different readable sections. Most sentences (especially those early in the article) have half a dozen sections. That’s… rough.
• Examples
◦ Just “we went to [Portland]. [2]” has 5 distinct sections one needs to swipe through: “we went to open bracket”, “Portland link”, “close bracket period open bracket”, “2 link” and “close bracket”.
◦ In Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park… “is situation on [break] 16 acres (6.5 [break] ha [break] and began as a shelter…”
• Considering the three ways users can read (there could be more I’m unaware of), and how this plays out:
◦ Swiping to have the entire screen read to you without stopping: This actually works well, but only works if you don’t want to pause or jump around.
◦ Swiping between items (two fingers forward or backwards): This is tough, but workable. You have to prompt it to continue between every section, which typically ends up being several times per sentence.
◦ Swiping your finger around the screen, having whatever you’re currently on be read out loud: This is non-functional, because some fragments span multiple lines, others don’t, etc.
• … This obviously needs to be fixed. Apple News reads out the entire article, and just says things like “We went to Portland link 2 link.” We should do something like that. (News has a slight pause before reading the link, and says the word “link” afterward. We should ensure we have this pause at the start of the link, so there is a tell as to where the link begins. Example from News: “Far less deaths than [slight pause] Italy link, where fatalities…”)