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The Art of the Zoom Layout

Stop Design’s Zoom Layout tackles the issue and audience much ignored by web page designers: the low-vision users. Most web designers design for the blind and seriously visually impaired, not for those who can see but need to have the text enlarged or in contrasting colors to be able to actually read it.

In reality, there are many more people who aren’t blind but experience some form of vision loss or impairment. These people would never have need for a screen reader, and wouldn’t necessarily benefit from the typical measures we’ve taken to ensure our pages are accessible to blind people.

To some extent, we’ve been ignoring this large group of low-vision users, assuming their browser controls for resizing text are enough to enable reading of our pages. Or that their own screen magnification software does the job well enough, so we don’t need to bother.

This step-by-step article explains the “Zoom Layout” which structures a web page to accomodate changes in text size and color shifts to help the low vision reader. If you are concerned, as you should be, with meeting accessiblity web standards, then read this article and consider incorporating it into your own web page design work.

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Copyright Lorelle VanFossen

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