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Re: good example of contrast widget?


From: Austin, Darrel
Date: Apr 5, 2007 3:30PM

> 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.

That seems like a fairly large audience...namely anyone semi-computer
literate and over the age of 40 who wears glasses.

I don't see much drawback to the widgets, either. These days, they're
fairly common on a lot of news sites and, as such, the older argument of
'confusing extra set of icons on the site' doesn't seem to hold as much
weight anymore. With our own site, we've had more than a few folks ask
if they could increase the size of type on our site. It's easier for us
to say 'use the font size widget' than to walk over to their desk and
explain how to change all of their default window's font sizes (which,
ironically, will break a lot of our crappy vendor-written web apps that
were all designed without any concept of browser agnosticism or font
size variations).

Of course, this mainly refers only to font size widgets. I think
contrast widgets tend to fall more into the 'either you need high
contrast and already know how to take advantage of that in your browser
and/or operating system level or you don't' camp. There really isn't
that middle-ground that you'd get with people just preferring a larger
type and not knowing how to resize things in their browser (since the
damn browser developers STILL hide this rather important feature from
most newbies).

Now, that's just my opinion based on anecdotal evidence, of course...