Why Aren’t Web Designers Considerate of Vision Problems?

Journey at Home Day 60


More than two decades into the 21st century and computer and phone manufacturers finally have in place things to help people who are differently-abled. Voice over, voice input, adjustable brightness screens, adjustable font size, ability to magnify, flashing lights for phone calls, haptic feedback, and so on. So why do designers insist on working against accessibility by using light gray font? This is from Zoom help documents.

The best way for them to emphasize whatever they are trying to emphasize is to make the text readable to all. I’m not picking on Zoom. This sort of text treatment is all over the Internet. Often the most important text is both tiny and gray. This could be a defense in court. Question: “Didn’t you read the fine print?” Answer: “What fine print? I didn’t even see it.” I consider myself to have pretty good vision, but the light gray text takes too much of my brain energy to process. I get it that pure black text is oh-so-yesterday, but dark gray text works just as well as a design statement. So does color. I encourage designers to test their designs with a wide range of customers, and include customers with low vision as well as those in a variety of age categories.

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