Anyone ever see, try, or use this…
Readwise did a test with 2000 readers and found that it made no measurable difference to reading speed (well, it possibly made you marginally slower, but it was statistically insignificant): Does Bionic Reading actually work? We timed over 2,000 readers and the results might surprise you
Their write-up is interesting. (In the pilot study they ran before this big one, they found that reading comprehension was worse with bionic reading too, but it was a really small reading test, and this bigger study didn’t replicate that.)
Indeed, for general use perhaps not but it appears it may be useful for those with ADHD / dyslexia.
Hard to know, since they publish little evidence for peer review. Much of it is anecdotal Also, they’re not selling it as a solution for a specific reading issue, they’re selling it to improve everyone’s abilities. This annoys me, because different reading problems are caused by different things, and need different solutions. (And depending on the target market, the problem isn’t reading speed anyway, it’s reading comprehension, and that has nothing to do with fonts and everything to do with education )
My understanding (as someone interested in reading - I’m not dyslexic myself so can’t test it!) is that “bottom weighted” fonts like Open Dyslexic (which is free to use and subject to scientific study) do make a measurable difference to reading ability with dyslexia. (Have to say that for me personally I find it off-putting, but I’m not it’s target audience!) Comic Sans is also well-tested, even if it makes designers sad.
Also, they’re not selling it as a solution for a specific reading issue, they’re selling it to improve everyone’s abilities.
True, true. Speed reading is a late 20th to 21st century version of snake oil IMHO. Could people improve their reading speed? Sure. Comprehension? I’m skeptical.
And do I really want to blow through East of Eden (865 pages in the bound book I read in highschool) instead of savoring the brilliance of Steinbeck?!?
I like the idea of bionic reading and think that it would work for me, for no reason than making it easier to read (not faster).
I also found that the focus mode (showing only the current paragraph) of iA Writer and the design of their fonts, works for me. No idea why it seems to make reading/writing easier but I start to appreciate such design ideas.