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Re: font size in web pages, is there any advantage to offering different sizes by the website, isn't it really the job of the magnification software?


From: Jared Smith
Date: Jul 28, 2011 8:57AM

Here are some of my thoughts on this topic -

In general, any time you present functionality in a web page to
customize or enhance that page for a specific disability, it will
always come at a cost to everyone else. Sometimes this is worth it,
but in most cases, I believe it is not.

"Skip to main content" links, for example, are really only for
keyboard users. Unfortunately, most standard browsers do not yet
support methods for keyboard users to navigate by semantic structure
(headings, lists, landmarks, HTML5 structural elements, etc.). As
such, the introduction of such a link provides critical functionality
for its intended audience, though often at a fairly high level of
intrusion and potential confusion to everyone else. As soon as more
browsers start implementing the 9 year old User Agent Accessibility
Guidelines and support keyboard navigation, "skip" links will happily
go away.

Text resizing widgets, on the other hand, provide fairly limited
functionality on that particular site for a fairly limited audience
(those that have low vision but are not already increasing text sizes
or using a screen magnifier). And they come at a very significant
cognitive, presentational, and interaction cost to everyone else. Not
worth it, says me. In this case, we need to better educate users on
this built-in functionality. Better browser support and presentation
for adjusting text size is also needed. I see that Firefox 5 now has
integrated controls that can easily be added to the browser interface
to increase/decrease text size. More of this, please.

Jared Smith