I incorporated a text-size switcher into a recent Experiment with Site Design for People with Cognitive Disabilities. I am trying this version because a feature like it may be easier to use for people with cognitive disabilities than a referral to instructions on how to increase text size. This is a continuation of previous posts that describe my experiment with providing step-by-step instructions for changing text size in Firefox or Internet Explorer.
This text-size switcher, as pictured below, appears at the top of the test page, on the right side.
Description & Features
- It is encountered immediately by site visitors who use a keyboard or a single-switch device for navigation.
- It is activated via links that use simple words.
- It has the following three versions. The first is displayed by default. The latter two appear sequentially as the text-size switcher is activated. (The best way to understand it is to visit the test page and try it.)
- Big Text
- Smaller Text | Bigger Text
- Smaller Text | Biggest Text
- Its size always matches the text on the rest of the page.
- Once it is invoked, the selected text size is displayed across all site pages.
[Edit on 2010-02-03: I just discovered a great article that discusses guidelines for text (font) resizing and the design difficulties faced accommodating it. Entitled "Font Resizing Guidance", it was written by Karl Groves of The SSB Bart Group. I realized with some satisfaction that, without having read the article first, the test page I created conforms to all the best practices and the recommendations it describes.]
As text size is increased, the switcher’s links shift left. A mouse user therefore may need to move the cursor to the right to select subsequent links for larger text. It would be simpler if the switcher were set up so a user could just click the same place a couple of times to increase text size.
It does not use symbols to indicate its function. I will have to survey other sites to find examples of simple ones.
As always, I am open to learning about alternative solutions. Please contact me or post a comment.
- Web Site Font Sizes & Switching for People with Cognitive Disabilities
- Browser-Based Text / Font Size Switching
- Browser-Based Text / Font Size Switching: Dissatisfaction & Solutions