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Text over images


From: Judith.A.Blankman@wellsfargo.com
Date: Jul 29, 2015 1:43PM

I’m seeing a design direction that concerns me where HTML text is laid over a translucent field of color that is layered over an image.

The text is usually white over a darker background. Sometimes it’s simply the busy-ness of the two together that presents a cognitive challenge, a reading/focus conflict between the image and the text where neither is sufficiently distinct.

Our target is AA compliance. Sometimes I can use color contrast as an argument not to do this, darkening the translucent field to achieve better contrast. We can strive for the AAA requirement "1.4.8 Visual Presentation" but I don’t have a “stick" I can use to get that done. I only have a “carrot” where I try to explain the challenge for folks with cognitive issues, attention deficit, universal design principles, etc.

I also try something like “which do you want your audience to read – the text or the image?” In the current applications that I’m seeing, both means neither are readable.

Is this a battle I should be waging? If yes, suggestions? If no, why?


Judith Blankman

Accessibility Strategist
Customer Experience (CX)
WFVC Digital | 1 Front Street | San Francisco, CA 94111
Tel: 415-947-6583 | Cell: 415-601-1114

MAC: A0195-171