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RE: Design pattern question - typography and icon fonts

From: James A. <A.James@soton.ac.uk>
Date: Thu, 14 Mar 2019 15:20:54 +0000
To: Steve Lee <stevelee@w3.org>, "public-cognitive-a11y-tf@w3.org" <public-cognitive-a11y-tf@w3.org>
Message-ID: <VI1PR04MB63200ABB8A55A10BBB9A8026B04B0@VI1PR04MB6320.eurprd04.prod.outlook.com>
Hi Steve

I did find an WCAG issue on icon fonts https://github.com/w3c/wcag21/issues/296 from 2017 which starts " Given the ubiquity of icon fonts across the web..." which relates to adding existing techniques to text equivalents. 

I think anything based on Unicode can cause problems. Even simple symbols like the minus in 8 - 9 = 1  are often skipped or misread (Windows reads that as 8 to 9 equal 1).  

But I think you are right that there is less risk that icons will disappear if fonts are changed than there used to be. At least I haven't be able to replicate it.



-----Original Message-----
From: Steve Lee <stevelee@w3.org> 
Sent: 14 March 2019 15:12
To: public-cognitive-a11y-tf@w3.org
Subject: Re: Design pattern question - typography and icon fonts

And to actually answer you question - I'm not aware of any discussion.

But I'm not sure if still a popular choice - that linked article was
2015 and unicode and SVG have come one leaps and bounds since then.


On 14/03/2019 15:07, Steve Lee wrote:
> IMHO Icon font's were a temporary hack that has been replaced by 
> better approaches - Unicode emojis and SVG.
> The issues is that screen readers read the apparently random character 
> code used to represent the icon 9even though inserted via CSS)
> EG
> https://eur03.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fclou
> dfour.com%2Fthinks%2Fseriously-dont-use-icon-fonts%2F&amp;data=01%7C01
> %7Ca.james%40soton.ac.uk%7Cf2fcac90615e4ed037a408d6a88f7752%7C4a5378f9
> 29f44d3ebe89669d03ada9d8%7C0&amp;sdata=d9ys9mnlyOC8cXpk8lj4MyeaBlY6r6j
> CXhqyaApG29c%3D&amp;reserved=0
> Steve
> On 14/03/2019 12:25, James A. wrote:
>> Hi everyone
>> I am working on the design pattern "Use clean typography and 
>> punctuation". I am focussing on areas of typography that cause 
>> problems for people using text to speech or who personalise the page.
>> One issue I would like to address is the use of icons fonts. When 
>> they started to become popular a few years ago, there were people 
>> raising issues that icons didn't appear if people swapped to 
>> different fonts and that icons were read out as Unicode by text to 
>> speech. I can't find this issue in any other patterns or gap analysis 
>> so I wanted to know if had been discussed before I was part of the group?
>> Best wishes
>> Abi
Received on Thursday, 14 March 2019 15:21:22 UTC

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