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Re: good example of contrast widget?


From: Jared Smith
Date: Apr 5, 2007 2:10PM

On 4/5/07, Becky Burd wrote:
> Does anyone have a good web site example of a contrast widget? i.e. a
> small area near the top of the web page where you can quickly change
> text size, contrast, etc.

I've yet to see one that is very good. Most that I've seen use the
stacked A's, something that many people will not be familiar with. To
make things worse, the widget icons themselves are typical graphics,
which means they will not scale up very well, thus making them more
difficult to use for those that might actually need them. And that's
not to mention the cognitive load the widgets introduce and the extra
navigation required by keyboard and screen reader users that would
have no use for them.

As you might guess, I tend to advise against using these widgets. They
tend to benefit a VERY small portion of the population - those with
minor visual disabilities that are significant enough to require more
contrast or larger text, but that are not so significant as to require
assistive technology that will be doing all of this anyways. To me,
the problems far outweigh the benefits. Besides, wouldn't you agree
that if a site requires larger text or better contrast, the design is
likely broken to begin with? Users that *require* these features will
be using software to provide them - the key is to design your site so
that you don't break their ability to customize your site.

Jared Smith