Inclusivity content

Basically,all the teams' materials for the current iGEM competition will be presented on the web page in text-based format, supplemented by pictures and videos. That's why text reading is a very important part of the process. Reading involves all the complex mental processes that are activated in the interpretation of the concepts and meanings inspired by the text symbols. Successful reading depends on the reader's ability to extract information from the material at an appropriate speed [1].

However, we found that font size has an effect on reading speed, reading efficiency, and reading correctness for both people with normal vision and those with visual impairments including myopia, hyperopia, presbyopia, and cataracts. That is, for these people, the possibility of slow reading speed, inefficient reading, and incorrect comprehension may arise when reading web pages of most teams.

For people with normal vision, having a certain reading speed is necessary. According to a study [2], the effects of window size, presentation speed, and font size on guided text reading were examined using the EyeLink 2000 eye-tracking device with 30 college students as subjects in a multifactorial mixed design. The results showed that the main effect of font size was significant. The larger the font size, the better it was for reading, and the faster the subjects read. Speed alone is not enough, but the correct rate of comprehension needs to be taken into account.

According to the study, the main effect of font size on correctness was significant [5]. Moreover, the main effect of font size was significant for both gaze duration and gaze frequency. The results of the experiment showed that for college students, the medium size font of the online courseware improved the subjects' mastery of the courseware content more than the small size font and the large size font of the online courseware, and there were significant differences [4].

In addition, there are people who have different reading habits. Each person has different habits when reading text, some like to enlarge, while others like to reduce the font size so that all content is displayed at once.

In recent years, the incidence of myopia in China has been on a significant rise, and myopia has become a major public health problem affecting the eye health of our nationals, especially adolescents. This most common eye disease is ranked as one of the top three diseases in the world, and the prevalence of myopia in our population is about 33%, which is 1.5 times higher than the world average (22% of the total population) [7].

With the increase in print size, the reading performance of normal-sighted and simulated visually impaired individuals improved. There was no significant difference in reading performance between the two small print sizes, but reading speed increased with increasing font size [1]. For low-vision students, data from the study [3] yielded that under sentence context conditions, font size did not have a significant effect on sentence reading time, but showed a trend that as font size increased, sentence reading time decreased. For the elderly, the newspaper found that several readers wrote and called to reflect that they would like the font size of the newspaper to be adjusted larger again [6]

In order to better accommodate people with visual impairment and other people's habit of reading web pages, so that they can improve their reading speed, reading efficiency and reading accuracy, we have added the function of enlarging/reducing the font size in our wiki to meet the needs of different people for font size. The standard is 16px, large is 18px, small is 14px.

Since the three sections of engineering, model, and description are more specialized, and our native language is Chinese, we designed the Chinese to English conversion function in these three sections in order to prevent the influence of the conversion between languages on the original semantics and increase the accuracy of the next iGEMers' understanding of our content. In addition to the expected help for Chinese iGEMers, we also hope that this feature will provide some convenience to other ordinary people who want to understand our project but have not studied professional English.


1.Alotaibi, A. Z. (2007). The effect of font size and type on reading performance with Arabic words in normally sighted and simulated cataract subjects. Clinical and Experimental Optometry, 90(3), 203–206. doi:10.1111/j.1444-0938.2007.00123.x




5.田欣卉. 字体大小、类型和标注对中文阅读影响的眼动研究[D].沈阳师范大学,2019.

6.吴旭. 字号大小征求意见诠释“开门办报”[N]. 中国新闻出版广电报,2021-01-28(003).