Inverted zoom: designing for low vision
In his A List Apart article Big, Stark & Chunky and his second presentation at @media 2005, Zoom The Web, Joe Clark has been drawing our attention to the importance of a somewhat neglected aspect of web accessibility: providing an alternative design for low-vision users.
It’s been on my to-do list for a long time to make a “zoom layout” for this site, but I’ve finally managed to come up with something. I’ll admit that what finally made me get it done is the homework Joe gave the audience at @media. The task was to go home and add a high contrast, large type, single column layout option to our sites. So I did.
It isn’t pretty, and it isn’t supposed to be. If you’d like to try it out,
go to my About page or my Accessibility statement, choose the “High-contrast layout”, as I’ve chosen to call it, and submit the form use the switch link, which is found at the top of the sidebar in the normal layout and in the page header of the high contrast layout. The style switcher sets a cookie, so it won’t work if you have disabled those. If you want the normal layout back you will need to go use the style switcher again.
As Joe suggested at @media, we need more people experimenting with this kind of alternative layout, and I wanted to do my part. Any comments or suggestions for further improvement?
Update: I am reworking the entire site and have removed the zoom layout for now. It may come back later.