Designing for users with low vision

Use a font with a high colour contrast and a readable font size

Don't use low colour contrasts and small font sizes

Making the default appearance of text easy to read will mean that people with visual impairments can take in the information (quicker), particularly if assistive technology is not available.

Publish all information on web pages

Don't bury information in downloads

HTML is the most accessible format because users can change the appearance of web pages to meet their needs - for example using high contrast colours or large fonts. The text can also be read aloud. Other formats often require extra steps and software to open, and can be harder to navigate and have less flexible display options.

Use a combination of colour, shapes and text

Don't only use colour to convey meaning

Colour vision deficiency (colour blindness) is a common condition which makes it difficult to identify certain colours. This can make it hard to understand elements like buttons and graphs which rely only on colour to convey information. Use other signifiers like text labels or different styles of dashed lines in those cases.

Follow a linear, logical layout

Don't spread content all over a page

Users of screen magnifiers can miss content like side columns if they are not expected or well sign posted. Particularly if they use the tab key to move between links and form elements. Place features in a logical order where users would expect them to be.

Some users choose to enlarge text as well as or instead of using magnification features. The design should flex accordingly, showing a mobile, single column layout.

Put buttons and notifications in context

Don't separate actions from their context

When using a screen magnifier, it is disorientating for a user to hunt around the page for an element. Put things like help text, error messages, submit buttons and notifications close to the thing they relate to.