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Get personalised to your display preferences - an update on MyDisplay

Guest Guest | 11:12 UK time, Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Guest blogger: Jonathan Hassell, Head of Usability & Accessibility, BBC Future Media & Technology

"I've been waiting for something like this for years..."

That's just one of the reactions we've had to the trial of MyDisplay - the BBC accessibility tool which allows people to change the way every one of BBC's 3million+ pages look.

BBC Homepage viewed through a MyDisplay hi-viz theme

The tool is already helping many people with dyslexia, literacy difficulties, limited-vision, ADHD and Aspergers get BBC Online in a way which works much better for them. From feedback so far, what they like is MyDisplay's simple interface for setting preferences, that they can customise MyDisplay themes to their precise choice of colour, that MyDisplay doesn't require them to download anything to get it to work, and that it works on smartphones as well as computers.

Since launching the trial back in December we have made some enhancements to MyDisplay:

  • We've made the tool much faster and more reliable in transforming pages to the user's preferences
  • We've made it work better on smartphones - you can now get both the BBC desktop and BBC mobile sites using MyDisplay preferences (your choice of font, text size, spacing, colours, images, and list view) on iPhone, iPad and Android
  • MyDisplay's list view now works better for people using screen magnifying software - transforming pages into list view brings the text of the main article to the top-left and allows it to be wrapped into narrow window sizes to avoid horizontal scrolling
  • We've also fixed a few bugs with the MyDisplay control panel and its ability to store user preferences in a BBC iD

And, as some users said they wanted MyDisplay turned on for most but not all pages on, we recently launched the MyDisplay toolbar which allows users to quickly turn their preferences on and off on a page per page basis once they've set them.

The toolbar also allows users to bring up the MyDisplay control panel from any page, so they can tweak their preferences without needing to go back to the MyDisplay website. And finally, it provides a quick mechanism for users to let the BBC know if a page they're viewing doesn't look right through MyDisplay.

We're hoping these updates enhance our existing users' experience of MyDisplay, and also encourage more people to try MyDisplay.

We'd really value your feedback, either here or via MyDisplay's feedback form, as this will let us know how important the tool is for you.

If feedback is good, MyDisplay may become a permanent feature of and be extended to offer preferences to help people with learning difficulties, hearing difficulties, and older people. It may also be included on other websites off the BBC so you can use your preferences on more of your web journeys.

The future of MyDisplay is in your hands. Give it a try today and let us know what you think of it now, and what it could include to help you get a better experience of in the future.


  • Comment number 1.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 2.

    I am reading this blog for a long time but I didn't post many comments.
    MyDisplayToolbar is the best toolbar I have ever used, mostly because it does not have uselless buttons. I have customized everything: text, color, backgroud. You would not even recognize your blog if you read it on my computer :)
    Also, I have a friend who does not differenciate colors from black and white. He use it like he can see best and with a bigger font. Just wanted to mention this things.

    All the best,
    Preturi Termopane


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