How To Tailor Your Site for People With Poor Vision


Davey Winder has written a great article for PC Pro that explains how web designers can create websites that are more accessible for people with low vision. Winder suggests looking at webpages through a low vision simulator, in order to get an idea of how people with low vision experience the web. Winder also covers the importance of user configurability, or providing users with choices regarding color contrast and text size. Since color contrast preferences can vary widely from person to person it is a good idea to provide at least two high-contrast options; one that is dark text on a light background and another that is light text on a dark background. Users should also be able to configure the size of text and the overall design of pages should be relative so that pages can be widened or narrowed without excessive horizontal scrolling.

Universal Design (UD) is an approach to design that increases the potential for developing a better quality of life for a wide range of individuals. It is a design process that enables and empowers a diverse population by improving human performance, health and wellness, and social participation (Steinfeld and Maisel, 2012). It creates products, systems, and environments to be as usable as possible by as many people as possible regardless of age, ability or situation.