Adobe Inspires the New Field of Readability Research


A recent Adobe Research blog post explained how Dr. Zoya Bylinskii, Research Scientist, began her quest to learn how personalized text formats can help everyone read better. Through her leadership, Adobe Research created partnerships with academic institutions, championed a global interdisciplinary research community, and inspired a new field of Readability Research.

For the past three years, Zoya worked with Adobe’s Rick Treitman, Entrepreneur in Residence, Ph.D. candidate Shaun Wallace, research intern, and additional scientists to investigate how personalized digital text can improve reading outcomes. Wallace (Brown University) led the promising adult research; he presented his finding at VSS 2020 and CHI 2020. Shaun notes that his goal is to “empower people to consume information in the way that works best for them.”

The research effort expanded. Adobe established a lab at the University of Central Florida under the direction of Dr. Ben D. Sawyer. And in 2021, Adobe received an UserTesting Illumi Award for its work on readability. In 2022, Adobe, Google, the University of Central Florida, and Readability Matters announced a new research consortium, The Readability Consortium.

“The interdisciplinarity of this research topic, and its ability to make a difference in education and at the societal level, are the most meaningful aspects of this work,” says Bylinskii.

We can’t wait to see what Zoya and the growing extended team do; they are leading the way, building the new and growing readability research field.

Read the Adobe Research article here.


Zoya Bylinkskii, AdobeAbout Dr. Zoya Bylinskii

Zoya is a Research Scientist in the Creative Intelligence Lab at Adobe Research (in Cambridge, MA) and an Associate of the Institute of Applied Computational Science at Harvard University. Zoya received her Computer Science Ph.D. and M.Sc. from MIT in 2018 and 2015, respectively. Zoya works at the interface of human perception & cognition, computer vision, and human-computer interaction. She is leading the readability research effort from within Adobe Research and is actively hiring interns in this space.


Shaun WallaceAbout Shaun Wallace

Shaun Wallace is a Ph.D. candidate at Brown University and a researcher with a focus on HCI and Big Data systems. He is the architect of the Virtual Readability Lab. Visit Shaun’s website