Christian Heilmann

Oddly executed accessibility – hide the widget

Friday, June 17th, 2005 at 11:37 am

I just stumbled upon yet another web site widget that should enhance the accessibility and usability of the site, by offering different site widths and font sizes:

site widget to change font size

My question now is who that really helps? A visitor with bad eyesight is not likely to be able to decypher what these icons mean.
They do have a proper alternative text, but that is not visible until you turn off images (or hover over the images in MSIE).
The implementation is even worse: All the links point to “javascript:void(0)”, which means that without JavaScript, they are dead and useless.

It is a wonderful idea to help visitors with special needs, but it is harmful to implement them using design and technology that assumes the same users don’t have these needs.

Share on Twitter