Improving the accessibility of 'Eye for Information'
On this page: There are many factors affecting how usable you find a site. Here are some hints on changing browser settings to help you.
How you see a web site depends on many variables, both personal and computer-related. For example:
- what your vision, and your perception of colour, is like.
- the physical type (e.g. CRT or LCD, WAP 'phone, PDA or WebTV) of display you have. For example, a web page can look startlingly different on a desktop PC and a laptop, and is obviously very different seen on a monochrome 'phone display.
- the size, colour depth and resolution of your display. Similarly, you can choose to run your browser full-screen or in a smaller window, which changes the display area too.
- the fonts you have available, and (on Windows) if you have large or small fonts installed.
- the browser or access technology you are using. Different browsers may show the same page with different layouts, and if you are using a screen reader or text browser, your experience will also be different.
Any web site design has to be a compromise between the æsthetic sensibilities of the designer and the varying needs of different users, and this one is no exception. You can use the links below to find out more about customising your browser, to improve the balance in your favour:
If you have a browser that supports the current CSS standards, the line length is set to be about 120 characters at default settings. Otherwise, lines may take up the whole width of the browser window, with a margin for comfort. In the latter case, if you have a large monitor, you will probably find it easier to read the text (of which there is a lot here!) if you reduce the width of the window, so that the lines are shorter.
(Why don't I constrain the page width like many sites do? You'll have to read my article on this very subject to find out.)
Many people use the default display settings on their browsers. However, you might want to read this page to find out how you can change the look of this site to make it more comfortable to read. The changes may work for other sites too, but some authors (deliberately or accidentally) make viewing less configurable.
This site (like most nowadays) uses stylesheets, which set the page colours and fonts in browsers that support them (e.g. Firefox, Mozilla, Microsoft Internet Explorer, Safari, Opera) - in other browsers like Lynx and ancient IE/NS versions, the pages will use your default colour and font settings.
I have tried to summarise some easy ways to tailor your browsing, but if you want to do more, you can use the program help. The instructions refer to a number of browsers; if yours is not in the list, or your version works differently, my apologies, but I hope this page will help you explore the possibilities.
You can change both the font face and size used on pages. For example, most browsers use a serif font like Times or Times New Roman as the default, but some people think a sans-serif font (e.g. Verdana, Arial or Helvetica) is easier to read on screen. Here are some instructions on how to change fonts for different browsers: (there are more instructions for Lynx and many older browsers on the page, too).
- Changing fonts in Mozilla
- Changing fonts in Mozilla Firefox
- Changing fonts in Opera 7
- Changing fonts in Microsoft Internet Explorer 5, 5.5, and 6
- Changing fonts in Safari
- Changing fonts in Konqueror
- Changing fonts in Netscape Navigator 6/7
You can also change the colours used for the page background and text, to make the contrast more comfortable, or choose colours you can read more easily. Here are some instructions on how to change colours for different browsers:
- Changing colours in Mozilla
- Changing colours in Mozilla Firefox
- Changing colours in Opera 7
- Changing colours in Microsoft Internet Explorer 5, 5.5 and 6
- Changing colours in Netscape Navigator 6/7
It is possible to use your own stylesheet in some browsers in preference to the colours and fonts specified in web pages (as described on the colours page). Four stylesheets are available for download here: they are based on two accessible colour schemes recommended by the BBC, with serif and sans serif font variants. To try them out, you can view sample pages first (as long as your browser supports and is configured to use document styles):
- CSS test page 1 - try black on yellow scheme (serif fonts)
- CSS test page 2 - try green on black scheme (sans serif fonts)
If you like them, then you can download them for personal use by the links below. The stylesheet will (probably) open in your browser, so you can save it to your own computer; make sure you save it in plain text format using the .css extension.
- yellow on black stylesheet, serif fonts
- black on green stylesheet, serif fonts
- yellow on black stylesheet, sans-serif fonts
- black on green stylesheet, sans-serif fonts
If you wish to use them on an internet or intranet site, or to redistribute them, please acknowledge me and leave in the comment at the top, or even better, link to my site (http://lois.co.uk/). All four are available together as a ZIP file (1.5 Kb). You may modify them yourself to add new styles, alter the colours and fonts etc.