WebAIM - Web Accessibility In Mind

E-mail List Archives

Re: browser zoom VS text zoom


From: Cameron Cundiff
Date: Nov 30, 2013 8:59AM

Alastair, a simple demo might be helpful. I'm also curious how it impacts touch screens.

> On Nov 30, 2013, at 10:03 AM, Alastair Campbell < <EMAIL REMOVED> > wrote:
> Hi Steve,
> But assuming sites are not well designed, isn't text-sizing better than
> zoom?
> I realise there is a huge range of ways to design badly for re-sizing, and
> most don't do it well. However, by accident (usually) responsive sites are
> designed well for zoom.
> Perhaps a way of maintaining the choice would be for the browser to leave
> the control, but default to zoom when on a responsive site (one declaring
> the viewport=device-width). If the user still decides to switch back to
> text-only then save the choice for that site.
> Without a switch of default (or a huge education campaign) then many people
> will think that many sites are rubbish for re-sizing when actually they are
> great - if you zoom.
> -Alastair
> On Sat, Nov 30, 2013 at 1:22 AM, Steve Green < <EMAIL REMOVED>
>> wrote:
>> The problem with your suggestion is that it only works if every website in
>> the world is designed well. Non-responsive websites *should* accommodate
>> text resizing but we all know that a large proportion of them do not. If
>> users do not have the option to select zoom, those sites will not be usable.
>> Steve Green
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: <EMAIL REMOVED> [mailto:
>> <EMAIL REMOVED> ] On Behalf Of Alastair Campbell
>> Sent: 30 November 2013 00:38
>> To: WebAIM Discussion List
>> Subject: Re: [WebAIM] browser zoom VS text zoom
>> Apologies for jumping on an old thread, but I had an idea.
>> We were discussing zoom vs text sizing, and I was positive about
>> responsive design when used with browser zoom.
>> As a designer/developer you tend to either use responsive techniques and
>> manage the layout at different sizes, or you have to allow for text-size
>> increases (although more likely you bother).
>> However, as a user how do you know what the website is doing? Do you try
>> one and then the other?
>> Just using text-size will create unusable responsive sites, and just zoom
>> will leave you with lots of horizontal scrolling.
>> Then it occurred to me (in the pub with friends) that there is a very
>> obvious signal from the website about the best type of sizing to use: the
>> meta-viewport tag.
>> If a site is responsive, it will use:
>> <meta name="viewport" content="width=device-width">
>> Therefore the browser could default to zoom. If it doesn't use that value,
>> text-sizing would be more appropriate.
>> Can you foresee situations when that wouldn't work, or make things worse?
>> The only one I can think of is that for narrow sites (e.g. 800px wide in a
>> large browser window) then zooming without responsive design can be ok, as
>> it just fills the window.
>> Overall, it seems like you could remove the browser control for switching
>> to text size, and use the meta viewport as the signal to change behaviour.
>> -Alastair
>> >> >> messages to <EMAIL REMOVED>
>> >> >> > > >