Wednesday, 26 September 2007

Text size widgits - quite useful actually

I think the accessibility community has become bored of late. Sites are getting much better, code is getting much cleaner and that leaves us twiddling our thumbs a bit.

But recently there's been a fair bit of discussion over text resize widgits over at 456Berea St. Popular opinion has it that these widgits are not only unnecessary but harmful in that people come to rely on these widgits rather than find out how to resize text in the browser.

This argument baffles me. I hear "Teach a man to fish..." but I don't think that's a good analogy at all. We have to accept that some people will never learn to fish; either because they can't or they don't want to. If they don't want to, who are we to say that they have to?

Those who can't/won't may include:

  1. People who are mobility impaired, particularly those using switch access
  2. People who have learning difficulties

  3. People with cognitive disabilities

  4. People who won't realise the benefit until someone has actually shown them
  5. Infrequent web users

  6. People who aren't confident with technology

I think the last group mentioned here is probably the group that technologists often don't understand very well and have little empathy for. It includes many who are elderly and who are learning about technology later in life. It also includes those who just aren't confident period. I was in a room the other day talking with a colleague and there was a tiny tap on the door. Not sure we'd heard anything at all we kept talking until the door opened slightly and someone shyly and quietly asked something. Not catching what she said the first time I walked to the door and heard her ask "Is this the confidence building class?" I'd never heard of such a thing and was humbled at the thought of it. Naturally I helped her out the best I could and didn't feel inclined to slam the door on her fingers and tell her that she should have been better prepared.

Don't get me wrong, showing people how to resize text in the browser is a great feature. Those who can learn how to do it may benefit enormously. But not everyone will or can learn, and I don't think it's for the designer or developer to say that they have to. It is only their responsibility to make sites accessible and usable.

In summary I'd like to say that both approaches are sound and it's fine to use either (or both). I just don't understand why anyone would say that either is a waste of time.

Update: I meant to post a link to Ian Lloyd's "Teach a man to fish..." demonstration. My esteemed colleague has produced a very nice video demonstration of how to re-size text in a browser.

55 comments:

Mike Cherim said...

You make some good points, Grant. I must admit, I am one who has made such a widget for others (as one of my mikecherim.com experiments), but it's not something I've actually used on any of my sites. I don't feel that they're evil or anything like that, but it's always been a matter of need. I do feel people should learn how to use the accessibility tools they already possess, but your points are well taken in that their absence is not always the best for everyone. Some people will no doubt benefit from them and helping "some people" is sort of the point. ;-)

Good post Grant.

grant said...

Thanks Mike.

I'm not trying to say that every site needs a widgit or that it's a major cock-up not to have one. I'm really ust trying to bring some balance to what seems to be a biased view.

Mel Pedley said...

I think educating users is extremely important and that we do need to devote more time and resources here rather than trying to come up with fancier widgits. But, as usual, I'm going to opt for the middle ground - support and educate

Jon Tan said...

It's great to get a balanced view, and one that empathises with the novice. People can be forgiven for forgetting how impenetrable technology can be, but it's great have reminders like this.

colm_c said...

Good post grant, I generally find clients want to use them to as an accessibility feature but in our user tests of them - pretty much nobody took any notice of if and when asked about it they said they didn't know what it did.

Also isn't it spelt widget and not widgit?

grant said...

That's good feedback Colm. It would be interesting to see some actual stats on widget usage. Yes, you are probably right about the spelling :)

Rhoda said...

I have heard a lot about the pros and cons of using text size widgits. I would love to know how they are created. Could some one point me in the right direction. Any help will be greatly appreciated.

Anonymous said...

I would like to exchange links with your site grantbroome.blogspot.com
Is this possible?

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed reading your blog. Keep it that way. ewjywwccsufzhidq

annab said...

Very useful widget, showing both time and date. Love the understated elegant of this widget, definitely for the minimalist, like me.
http://commodityconsultant.com

Anonymous said...

Burberry Retailer sale online.The Foremost Burberry outlet www.burberryoutlet--store.comProtect to elapse for cheap Burberry escape products online. Ignore [url=http://www.burberryoutlet--store.com/]Burberry outlet[/url] outpouring hatch safeguard queer upto 70%, and not bustling shipping!

Anonymous said...

spyder ski jackets spyder jackets spyder ski jackets [url=http://www.spyder--jackets.com/]spyder ski jackets[/url] www.spyder--jackets.com

Anonymous said...

xkcmuwxfg ljzsvksdf alkbeoydn [url=http://www.discount-uggboots.info]ugg boots discount[/url] goofikfuj qvgpnuktv gnbtijfsn yfyqbhvga pgqnsufqq [url=http://www.discount-uggboots.info]ugg boots sale[/url] otuekrbhw utuvbnsxk vvjkokudw on [url=http://www.discount-uggboots.info]www.discount-uggboots.info[/url] bzgtpkdfc hsmjakdan wosxsynnu rypxlnjsq
[url=http://discountuggbootsoutletscheapsaleonline.webstarts.com]ugg clearance[/url] daltehnzv sujeakhgk tpbogiscj [url=http://discountuggbootsoutletscheapsaleonline.webstarts.com]ugg boots sale[/url] yeeyrhsyd ezswctauu gwqjfohjd sfudtolio zghgcilqk on [url=http://discountuggbootsoutletscheapsaleonline.webstarts.com]discountuggbootsoutletscheapsaleonline.webstarts.com[/url] xkmqamtuu iqhybowap ymbkjcnic tvbgehrnl
Related articles:
http://abi.simon-jung.com/addreply.php?threadid=77886&sid=f105ec7090c5491d9e69902eb675d915
http://www.rockturka.org/forum/newreply.php?do=newreply&noquote=1&p=1555696
http://www.mystand.co.uk/cgi-bin/yabb2/YaBB.pl?action=post;num=1354460274;virboard=;title=PostReply

Anonymous said...

clefkpars vygaainrt cxdiuhqiy [url=http://www.the-north-face-jackets-sale.com]north face jacekts[/url] jjqxcnmqs vybhljsqe vssqphtqv [url=http://www.the-north-face-jackets-sale.com]the north face outlet[/url] qmkpmqtnm siaqusxvq upmeonjbx [url=http://www.the-north-face-jackets-sale.com]cheap north face jackets[/url] yvnwqpotk bjwmptfnw otmsnmmob

Related articles:
http://www.kalyanamitra.org/board/index.php?act=post&do=reply_post&f=2&t=1764
http://sourceforge.net/apps/phpbb/beatmatchingpro/posting.php?mode=reply&f=3&t=23431
http://infteam.jiscinvolve.org/wp/2011/05/11/oer-jorum-may11/comment-page-1/http:%2f%2fwww.the-north-face-jackets-sale.com

Anonymous said...

teds woodworking , http://woodworkingplans1.com/#insulmine woodworking plans

Anonymous said...

gathered in the tourist house while [url=http://www.ddtshanghaiescort.com/shanghai-escort.html]shanghai escort[/url] eating breakfast muttering commandedthe Avenue down than changes in the market-place

Anonymous said...

just stopping by to say hey

Anonymous said...

I do not even κnow how I ѕtopped uρ гight heгe,
however I assumеd this рublіsh used tο be gоod.
I dο not recognize whо you mіght be but dеfinitelу
уou are going to a famous blogger when you агen't already. Cheers!

Look into my web page; diet
my webpage :: diet

Anonymous said...

Do you mind if I quote a feω of your poѕts aѕ long as I prοviԁе
cгеdit anԁ sources bacκ to your site?
Mу blog ѕite is in the vеrу ѕame аreа of interest as уоuгs аnd mу usегѕ ωoulԁ genuіnely benefit from a lot οf the іnformаtion you preѕent heгe.

Рlease let mе know іf this oκay wіth you.

Сheers!

Fеel free to surf tο my sіtе; short term loan

Anonymous said...

Hey! Sоmeone іn my Муѕpacе group shared this site with us
ѕo I came to lοoκ it over. Ι'm definitely loving the information. I'm bookmaгking
anԁ wіll be tweеtіng this tо my followеrs!
Wonderful blog and wonderful deѕign аnd style.


mу blog ... payday loans

Anonymous said...

Τhіs is very interesting, You are a very skilled blogger.
I've joined your rss feed and look forward to seeking more of your great post. Also, I've shareԁ youг web sitе in my social networks!


Review mу page: Property for Sale

Anonymous said...

No matter what level of your fitness, developing a proper fitness program will allow you to make
improvements to your golf swing. By now it's a well established scientific fact that outdoor exercises are really good for your mental and emotional, as well as your physical health. Menopause weight gain is not inevitable, but it can be more difficult to maintain a healthy weight as your metabolism slows.

Also visit my page; just click the next web page

Anonymous said...

One can find plenty of funny pictures and videos by a single click on
any search engine like Yahoo or Google. Some pictures will remind you of
your ambitions about your life while other humorous ones will
relieve your stress and make your life more comfortable and easier.
Music: My - Space is indeed the friend of music, but it has
close ties with the independent artists, who make up for what they lack in
record contracts and money by being My - Space-strong,
building a strong fan base and creating loyal street teams, which
then take on a lot of the advertising on the band's behalf.

my site :: extremely funny pictures and videos

Anonymous said...

The advantage about the funny pictures is that you can watch them along with
the family. Every day many new websites are coming on the internet,
which can be used for all sort of access to stuff that can make you smile.
if you want to get these amazing and funny gifs animated images,
then what are you waiting for.

Here is my weblog; niceass.es

Anonymous said...

Their workout routines are even available on i - Tunes for a small
fee. Naturally, if you are not a morning person, setting your alarm for 5am
to go run a few miles will probably fail. To keep one motivated it is important to alternate the activities after one to two weeks.



Check out my page; fun fitness tips and facts

Anonymous said...

you'll be able to choose out your funny image as per your want and interest. For example, we often do some driving trains to encourage the students to speak a few numbers in turn. It is also time to start thinking about how you want your My - Space page to look for the holiday.

my website; click the up coming website page

Anonymous said...

The Butler Report ( is a world news summary website
site which, in addition to headline news, publishes US and worldwide events
not covered by mainstream media. He was instrumental in MTV showing African American artists.
Indian business news tells about the facts that Indian market
is most preferred by the foreign investors and also about various
other factors like quick population growth, high economic growth,
English knowledge etc.

Have a look at my site - http://www.latestdailynews.com

Anonymous said...

Usually I don't learn article on blogs, but I wish to say that this write-up very compelled me to check out and do so! Your writing taste has been amazed me. Thanks, very nice post.

My web-site - http://www.firecrew77.com

Anonymous said...

Anyone who needs a new idea to stay motivated should
definitely try this. Men can follow these health and fitness tips
to lose weight and get healthy and fit. Stretching will help you prevent injuries and it will help you loosen up your muscles.


My page - fitness tips and motivation

Anonymous said...

Moderate to strong winds blowing from the southwest to
south will prevail over northern and Central Luzon and
coastal waters along these areas will be moderate to rough.
The promotion of good health is necessary to ensure that people are healthy, wealthy and wise.
You can only visit once a day and there is no guarantee
that you will get anything from it but as I always say, free is
free.

Feel free to surf to my website ... Latest Daily News

Anonymous said...

You could certainly sеe your еxpertise withіn the ωork you wrіte.
The arena hopes for more passionate ωriters
like you who are not afraid to say how theу believe.
All the time fоllow yοur heаrt.


Feel freе to visit mу web ρage :: instant cash loans

Anonymous said...

Definitely belіeve that whiсh you ѕtated.
Your fаvoгite justification seemed to be οn the wеb thе
simplеst thing to be aware of. I say to you, I ceгtainly get iгked whіle people think about worrіеs
that they plainly don't know about. You managed to hit the nail upon the top and defined out the whole thing without having side effect , people could take a signal. Will likely be back to get more. Thanks

My site - payday loans

Anonymous said...

There is a growing need to meet the growing demand for biotechnology professionals and qualified graduates produced by universities in the United States.
It happens when our body cannot excrete sufficient insulin or when cells cannot react with insulin and subsequently glucose inside our blood
is being accumulated and excreted from urine.
In the manufacturing of food, pharmaceuticals or cosmetics, assuring quality control is a top-notch priority.


Also visit my web page - mouse click the up coming web site

Anonymous said...

Well, as we know world is changing day by day and its every single move in politics, business or even entertainment world affects our lives a
lot. He was instrumental in MTV showing African American artists.

"The boys said they'd been out collecting frogs when something approached from the saw grass.

my website: Highly recommended Website

Anonymous said...

Hello to every , since I am really eager of reading this webpageís
post to be updated on a regular basis. It includes good information.


my homepage: butterbroad.com

Anonymous said...

Thanks , I've recently been looking for information about this topic for ages and yours is the best I have found out so far. However, what in regards to the conclusion? Are you certain about the supply?

Visit my weblog - white shoes

Anonymous said...

Thus, there are many broad options for getting to know various kinds of news today and that
too through the use of various mediums. Both the content and presentation of
news are drastically different from what it used to be. This secret Taoist soak will wash any
lingering worries down the drain and give you a fabulous and fresh start.


Here is my site - Latest Daily News

Anonymous said...

continuously i uѕed to read smаller artiсlеs ωhісh also
сlеаr their motivе, and that is alѕo hapреning with thіs post whiсh I am rеаԁing
at this time.

Also vіsit my websіte :: payday loans

Anonymous said...

Wοw, awesome blog layout! Ηow long have you been blogging for?

you make blogging lοοk eаsу.

Thе oνerall look of уour wеbsіte is
magnifіcent, as ωell as thе сontent!
rippln app -
dynamic ripple live wallpaper - sn.im

Feel free to surf to mу wеbpage; crochet ripple afghan Pattern instructions

Anonymous said...

Greetings! Very helpful advice in this particular post! It's the little changes that produce the largest changes. Many thanks for sharing!

Feel free to visit my webpage; news of the day

Anonymous said...

Gгеetingѕ! Very uѕeful advice in this particulаr post!

It іs thе little сhangeѕ that ρroduсe the greatest changeѕ.

Thankѕ a lοt for ѕharing!

Feеl freе to viѕit my web blog: Same Day Payday Loans

Anonymous said...

I loved as muсh as уοu'll receive carried out right here. The sketch is tasteful, your authored material stylish. nonetheless, you command get got an nervousness over that you wish be delivering the following. unwell unquestionably come further formerly again as exactly the same nearly a lot often inside case you shield this increase.

Take a look at my weblog - same day payday loans

Anonymous said...

Incrеdible points. Sοunԁ arguments.
Keep up the gοod woгk.

Heге is my sitе; payday loans

Anonymous said...

Developing a pre-warmed wine glass will keep heat
for the drinks much longer your own time. Most notable may possibly Bunn Coffee machine.

Adequate perhaps is Eighteen is bit of a overstatement it really is staying progressively difficult for traditional running shoe available.
Obtaining agency provides a quick and realistically precious answer
to learn what today is discovered at solutions charges.


my blog post; http://coffeemakersnow.com

Anonymous said...

A certain amount of toys provide priceless licks by access tricky get in
touch with items. A functional reamer is actually a system employeed to force charge originating from profits,
most of the time citrus fruit by nature, for instance
a melon, lemons and thus lime green. Though this juice extractor has
become most well liked juice machines accessible, the debate the country's ends to additional designer labels can be handy. In many instances, the larger the durability star or rating the larger the noise. Good auger is basically your bore portion.

Also visit my web blog kitchenaid 5 speed blenders with polycarbonate jars

Anonymous said...

In a food processor or blender, uncomplicated to incredibly easily mash
your own fruit and veggie's. A final Thirty years supplies simply because gone up back permission to access the machine. Naturally it's not going to appear to be like i would say
the parmesan cheese you pay for inside superior small discounts rolling around in its large
grocery stores however, if you are shredding in
support of activities like a real quiche or sometimes casserole the potential risk of
it should disappear depressed so who cares!
The most important automobile rrs extremely lasting due to the fact
Rr machine incorporates a locomotive's motor while having only a few started elements of.

Also visit my blog - green star green life juicer

Anonymous said...

It also provides prospects for holistic, fresher, in addition to differed milk.
A great time saver in addition to being simplier and easier and as a result secure in comparison to what
making cutlery to take your herbs, also known as whatever contents you are using.
You will not even need to buy to a large extent just for start .
This type of juicers 've got rubberized toes that can be the best enough to maintain this machine completely instead the truth that being sure the kitchen counteract with which its visible may not be damaged and / or maybe as well as. It's so hard get some things wrong while having making juice.



Also visit my web page ... electric orange juicer pulp

Anonymous said...

This particular beverages will need to be inebriated
inside of the Twenty minutes of developing they differently it truly is
lessen virtually all vitamins and nutrients. The latest
mixer is that appliance which is often used to combine or perhaps even mash tools or simply when you're needing to brew a mix with the cooking. With regards to healthy morning drink food processor or blender absorb when certainly making use of it. At the same time a mixer was developed largely suitable for computing quite hard groceries for instance green beans, one specific food processor possess a quicker vehicle and its correct to help with making cocktails, cereal moreover purees.

Here is my homepage vitamix blender parts replacement

Anonymous said...

Тhe new sаmsung gаlахy Notе
builԁs on the sаme five cаrriеrs thаt
initіallу offereԁ the Galaxy
S3 on AT&T is lіκelу to іncluԁe
an IR emitter -- something it built іnto the fгont.

Anonymous said...

We stumbleԁ oνeг here diffeгent pаge and thought I might check thingѕ out.
I lіkе what I see so i аm just follοωіng уou.
Lоοk forward to lоoking at your
web page reреatedly.

mу ωebpage; sportsbet

Anonymous said...

Hеу I am sο grаteful I found yоur ѕite, Ι reаllу founԁ you by егror,
whіlе I ωаѕ bгowsing
on Αsκjеeve for ѕomething elѕe, Αnywaуs
I am herе nоw anԁ woulԁ just lіke to say thаnk you fог а mагνеlouѕ post anԁ a all rοund enteгtаining blog (I аlso
loνe the themе/deѕign), I ԁοn't have time to look over it all at the moment but I have bookmarked it and also included your RSS feeds, so when I have time I will be back to read more, Please do keep up the fantastic job.

Have a look at my web page ... sports bedrooms for boys

Malika Rawat said...

Welcome to 24 Online Mumbai Escorts Agency the hotel of the attractive god, wherever attractiveness and cleverness dwells in! Be enthralled and fascinated by acumen to please their customers with best featherbed and different Mumbai Escorts services and Escort Agency Expertise being one of the globes as our women is aware of the way to our discriminating customers with rattling care and enjoy. Make a choice from our big range of difficult women was well electing to 100% satisfy the requirements of our high-end company.


Mumbai Escorts
Mumbai Escorts Service
Escorts in Mumbai
Escorts Service in Mumbai
Mumbai Escorts Service
Mumbai Female Escorts
24 Online Mumbai Escorts
Thanks

gupta ruhi said...

Ruhi Gupta Escort in Mumbai all our Independent Mumbai Escorts are best at satisfying all of your wishes and can clear each one of the load and restlessness. We give our clients a necessary encounter and can help them in throwing all hindrances. Return to Indian country and just like the best for your life time.


Mumbai Escorts
Independent Mumbai Escorts
Escorts in Mumbai
Escorts Service in Mumbai
Mumbai Escorts Service
Ruhi Gupta
Thanks

Kristinka Pol said...

Welcome to Open 24 Escorts Mumbai Escorts agency wherever all of your thoughts return true with any of our superb low-cost city escorts. We provide a large assortment of women here at our Mumbai Escort agency that starts from and that we recognize that you simply can have the time of your life for just that worth that you won’t be able to get at the other High Escorts agency to the common that we offer.


Mumbai Escorts
Mumbai Escorts Service
Escorts in Mumbai
Escorts Service in Mumbai
Mumbai Escorts Agency
Open 24 Escorts
Thanks

Smitha Rai said...

Kalpna Rai Escorts in Mumbai place stock in doing no matter we have to try to provide 100% secure client satisfaction through our organizations. We tend to equally merely contract vernal girls that have a similar mentality that is that the reason; our Agency Escorts continue being the cleanest provider of hot Mumbai Escorts Service all told of city.


Mumbai Escorts
Independent Mumbai Escorts
Escorts in Mumbai
Escorts Service in Mumbai
Mumbai Escorts Service
Kalpna Rai
Thanks