WebAIM - Web Accessibility In Mind

E-mail List Archives

Re: Layout Stability


From: Keith Parks
Date: Nov 6, 2007 3:00PM

On Nov 6, 2007, at 12:36 PM, Austin, Darrel wrote:

>> I am wondering what your opinion is about it.
> It seems to be a term that describes'fixed width layouts'
> Not sure that's really an accessibility issue as much as usability.

In my mind the accessibility issue is where some users with decreased
vision may need to *significantly* bump up the text size in order to
read it, but if the layout is not flexible enough some content may
get pushed out of its containing element, either to disappear or else
overlap other content.

Obviously not an issue with a ZoomText-style screen magnification,
but I assume some people take advantage of the out-of-the-box text
resizing to address the same difficulty.

For a couple of random samples, compare in internal Apple page

With the Yahoo home page <http://www.yahoo.com/>;

Visiting each in Firefox and bumping up the text size 5 or 6 times,
the Yahoo columns flex to accommodate the content, but in the Apple
site content gets cut off and/or pushed out of place.

So it's a usability question in that anyone ought to be able to
adjust the font size, but an accessibility issue in that low vision
users would reasonably seem more likely to be on the extreme end of
big type.

Keith Parks
Graphic Designer/Web Designer
Student Affairs Communications Services
San Diego State University
San Diego, CA 92182-7444
(619) 594-1046


World Peace through Cascading Style Sheets.