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:

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:

Setting the page width

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.)

Why do I need to change my browser settings?

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.

Fonts

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).

Colours

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:

Sample stylesheets

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):

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.

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.