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Re: fixed width Vs relative sizing

From: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@w3.org>
Date: Thu, 2 Nov 2000 06:21:07 -0500 (EST)
To: Anthony Quinn <anthony@frontend.com>
cc: WAI Mailing list <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.21.0011020616210.20374-100000@tux.w3.org>
Hi Anthony,

Because screens come in lots of different sizes, and people use lots of
different fonts. In fact, many users magnify the content of their screen, and
the result is that they are looking at something like 320x240 pixels, or
160x120, or they use a very large font (60pt, for example).

If the layout is a fixed size, they will have to scroll in two directions to
read content, which quickly becomes difficult. In combination with cognitive
disabilities the need to move the screen around so much makes it very
difficult to concentrate on what is actually being presented.

If the layout is not a fixed size, then content can be easily "flowed" (laid
out so that it fits the space available) by the browser to suit the user.


Charles McCN

On Thu, 2 Nov 2000, Anthony Quinn wrote:

  Hi All,
  I'm new to this group and was wondering if anyone can explain (in non
  technical lingo please) why fixed width sizing of web pages is a bad thing
  for accessibility.
  thanks in advance,
   Anthony Quinn                     UI Design Manager
     Frontend ~ Usability Engineering & Interface Design
     40 Westland Row, Dublin 2, Republic of Ireland
            Visit our Usability InfoCentre at:
   anthony.quinn@frontend.com       tel: +353 1 241 1600
   http://www.frontend.com          fax: +353 1 241 1601

Charles McCathieNevile    mailto:charles@w3.org    phone: +61 (0) 409 134 136
W3C Web Accessibility Initiative                      http://www.w3.org/WAI
Location: I-cubed, 110 Victoria Street, Carlton VIC 3053, Australia
September - November 2000: 
W3C INRIA, 2004 Route des Lucioles, BP 93, 06902 Sophia Antipolis Cedex, France
Received on Thursday, 2 November 2000 06:21:09 UTC

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