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style switcher, accessibility & usability

P: n/a

hi all,

I would like to know if the more and more websites offering the 3 font
sizes option by style switching are just following a trend or have
chose the best solution by an accessibility/usability point of view.

I have always read that one should design a website with relative font
unit ( % or em ) so any user would be able to choose in his browser the
most suitable font size for him.

What is best ? offering a size option with javascript or server side
code or letting the user completely free to adjust the size to his
needs ?

Maybe in some cases a user cannot change the browser otpions ? ( like
on web kiosk, internet cafe ? etc.)

TIA

Johnny

Jul 21 '05 #1
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5 Replies


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On 9 Dec 2004 08:23:37 -0800, "johnny" <mr********@yahoo.com> wrote:
I would like to know if the more and more websites offering the 3 font
sizes option by style switching are just following a trend
Just followng a trend. A trend for setting font sizes in pixels
because the page has been designed as if it was a piece of paper
(rather than designing with the flexibility of the www in mind) and
the tacking on a limited choice of pixel sizes as an attempt to
appease the evil, creativity stiffling accessibility lobby.
or have
chose the best solution by an accessibility/usability point of view.
Are three sizes more accessible than the many sizes possible via the
browser? Is a widget that's placed on a different page on every site,
and which needs to be set for every site more usable than setting
things once in the browser?
I have always read that one should design a website with relative font
unit ( % or em ) so any user would be able to choose in his browser the
most suitable font size for him.
Yes.
What is best ? offering a size option with javascript or server side
code or letting the user completely free to adjust the size to his
needs ?
The latter.
Maybe in some cases a user cannot change the browser otpions ? ( like
on web kiosk, internet cafe ? etc.)


When a browser is used by multiple people some compromises have to be
made. However, the screen size and resolution are known when the
browser is installed so a sensible default font size should have been
set by whoever installed the browser. After that the differences
between kiosks and internet cafes are quite large and make
generalisations difficult.

Steve

Jul 21 '05 #2

P: n/a
On 9 Dec 2004 08:23:37 -0800, "johnny" <mr********@yahoo.com> wrote:
I would like to know if the more and more websites offering the 3 font
sizes option by style switching are just following a trend or have
chose the best solution by an accessibility/usability point of view.


They've just jumped on a passing bandwagon.

I used to have a poster that read "to every complicated problem, there
is a simple solution - and it's wrong". In this case they've got a
simple problem and found a complicated solution - and it's wrong too (or
at least inferior to the simple solution).

--
Stephen Poley

http://www.xs4all.nl/~sbpoley/webmatters/
Jul 21 '05 #3

P: n/a
johnny wrote:
I would like to know if the more and more websites offering the 3 font
sizes option by style switching are just following a trend or have
chose the best solution by an accessibility/usability point of view.

I have always read that one should design a website with relative font
unit ( % or em ) so any user would be able to choose in his browser the
most suitable font size for him.


As for browser style switcher using alternates stylesheets, some browser
don't keep your settings persistent between pages. So some websites
provide a mecanism for the user to keep its preferred style and fonts
sizes (that should be relative yes) for the whole site.
Jul 21 '05 #4

P: n/a
Pierre Goiffon wrote:
As for browser style switcher using alternates stylesheets, some browser
don't keep your settings persistent between pages. So some websites
provide a mecanism for the user to keep its preferred style and fonts
sizes (that should be relative yes) for the whole site.


User CSS, yes. But which browser, which supports font size changes, does
not make a persistent change?
--
Johannes Koch
In te domine speravi; non confundar in aeternum.
(Te Deum, 4th cent.)
Jul 21 '05 #5

P: n/a
Johannes Koch wrote:
As for browser style switcher using alternates stylesheets, some
browser don't keep your settings persistent between pages. So some
websites provide a mecanism for the user to keep its preferred style
and fonts sizes (that should be relative yes) for the whole site.


User CSS, yes. But which browser, which supports font size changes, does
not make a persistent change?


I was thinking about the "zoom" functionnality... And just saw Firefox
v1 keep this setting from page to page. Hu
Jul 21 '05 #6

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