Why Browser Zoom Sucks for Low Vision Users
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The way in which the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 address text enlargement at conformance Level AA is rather ambiguous. Success Criterion 1.4.4 entitled “Resize Text”, states ...
The way in which the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 address text enlargement at conformance Level AA is rather ambiguous. Success Criterion 1.4.4 entitled “Resize Text”, states that “text can be resized without assistive technology up to 200 percent without loss of content or functionality.” The ambiguity surfaces within browsers like Safari or Firefox, which enable users to choose between zooming the entire page and resizing only the text within the page.
These features, clearly intended for users who need larger print, often reveal serious structural defects in web pages that prevent reading functionality. Words are truncated, lines with fixed height overlap and poorly styled column formats cause one column to overwrite the column next to it. With page zoom, none of these problems occur: this is because everything, including bounding boxes, line height and column size are all expanding at the same rate. The problem however, is that the page no longer fits on the screen. Word wrapping fails and one has to stretch the word functional to claim that page enlarged in this manner remain functional. So really, can we consider a page to be conforming to Success Criterion 1.4.4 if it looks good when zoomed, but breaks when the text contained in it is simply resized?
In other words, if page zoom is considered a viable approach to testing SC 1.4.4, and considering that pages never break when they are simply zoomed in, should we still consider this Success Criterion as relevant today?
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