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Re: browser zoom VS text zoom


From: Steve Green
Date: Nov 30, 2013 12:34PM

Automatically switching to zoom is fine as long as the user still has the option to select text resizing if they want. It's the removal of that option that I have a problem with, not the switching.

Steve Green

-----Original Message-----
From: <EMAIL REMOVED> [mailto: <EMAIL REMOVED> ] On Behalf Of Alastair Campbell
Sent: 30 November 2013 18:07
To: WebAIM Discussion List
Subject: Re: [WebAIM] browser zoom VS text zoom

Hi Cameron,

A realistic demo would involve a browser plugin, but I can provide some steps to show what it's like:

1. Open www.bbc.co.uk in a browser with both zoom and text-only zoom.
Safari version >6, Firefox >3, I think IE >8 as well? Not Chrome/Opera as they don't have text-only zoom.

The default is zoom, and if you bump it up 200% with cntl/cmd and +, you get a lot of horizontal scrolling. If you switch to text-only, the experience is better. Not great, but better as there's no horizontal scrolling (something people a magnifier find really hard to deal with).

The BBC (homepage at least) isn't a responsive site and doesn't declare a viewport, so imagine the browser automatically switched to text-zoom onload of the first page.

2. The second example would be bostonglobe.com. If you open that (same browser and settings) you'll get a lot of unreadable, overlapping text with text-only zoom.

The globe does declare viewport though, so imagine it automatically switched to zoom. If you switch to zoom, you'll get the best experience so far as it then uses the mobile-sized styles.

Touch-screens, or rather non-desktop devices are interesting, as the mechanics of zoom are different. In that case they don't have text-zoom at all (or very few devices do), and zoom works like a screen-magnifier. I think there are improvements to be made for mobile zooming, but it doesn't affect this conversation and I would rather deal with it separately.