How important is zooming in and out (cmd + , cmd - ) for websites (Desktop view) in terms of accessibility?



  • I am working on a website at the moment and someone else is in charge of the HTML/CSS side of things.

    I've noticed it's not possible to zoom in and out with the browser function of cmd and + or -. The website just rescales instantly due to the css.

    I don't know how important this feature is in terms of accessibility. Do people with strong impairments of vision use it regularly or are there other use cases I am not aware of?



  • Short Answer

    Browser zoom is probably the most used accessibility feature. Also make sure pinch to zoom works on a mobile as that is used even more.

    Long Answer

    Lost of people use browser zoom to some extent.

    They may not necessarily be disabled.

    For example I am currently viewing this site at 150% zoom. This is due to having a 40" 4k monitor monitor positioned about a meter away. I have no disabilities but without being able to zoom this site the text would be too small to read.

    More importantly - the Web Aim low vision survey shows around 44% of assistive technology users use the browser zoom settings.

    Web aim survey screenshot

    screenshot of webaim survery highlighting 44% of users responded that they use browser zoom as an accessibility feature

    How import is zooming in and out (cmd + , cmd - ) for websites (Desktop view) in terms of accessibility?

    "very".

    It is very important to allow users to zoom into your site.

    I would normally cite WCAG rules here (1.4.4 resize text, 1.4.10 reflow) but I think that would be unnecessary 😉 and instead say that common sense says allow zooming on your site.



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