Posted by: Rowan | February 12, 2008


This blog’s fairly new, but as it develops you’ll notice that a recurring theme here will be the accessibility of the web. And, understandably, you might be taking a second look at the template for these pages, and in particular the colours and font size. I did, too.

But before the both of you blitz me with complaints, allow me to put up my defence: I know. This template leans heavily towards the aesthetic and in doing so, introduces some obstacles for users with lower levels of vision than – presumably – its creator.

I’ve always been a blowhard when it comes to web accessibility, so what gives?

Well, I also appreciate fine aesthetics. And the buzz I keep hearing is that accessible sites don’t have to be visually boring. IMHO this layout is far from boring. So I’m pushing the envelope and asking you to tell me what issues you run into. Let me know and I’ll have to find a way to keep us both happy.

The HTML that makes up this layout looks fairly clean, and should degrade well if you load it into a text-only browser or screen reader. The heading hierarchies are dodgy – the site title is an H4 and every other heading is an H2, which makes no sense. But I’m picking that the biggest issue is the colours of the content and the links, which are going to be hard for some people to see.

Robyn is going to cane me, I know; this template is difficult for people with low vision. And it’s another example of her pet hate – “the greying of the internet”. Guilty as charged.

The fonts enlarge reasonaby well without wrecking the site, which should alleviate the problem – but only to a degree. I suspect the real answer will be to pay WordPress the $US15 they ask for the facility to write my own CSS and override the defaults used in this template.

Which I’d happily do right now if I carried a credit card. I’ll do it when I can get my hands on my wife’s one.



  1. Found an answer! I came across this new layout which better addresses the colour and font problems. And I like the aesthetics…

    AND I didn’t have to part with $15 to WordPress, or get in trouble with my wife for wasting time and money!

    If you have any problems with it let me know.

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