When reviewing a site with CSS disabled, "sea of white" appears: is this a real accessibility issue?

Previous Topic Next Topic
 
classic Classic list List threaded Threaded
10 messages Options
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

When reviewing a site with CSS disabled, "sea of white" appears: is this a real accessibility issue?

Andy Keyworth

Hi all,

 

When I was trained to do web accessibility testing, one thing I was directed to do was to disable CSS and review the page to observe how it linearizes. But I was also informed that if large white spaces  (“seas of white”) appeared in this view, that was an accessibility failure because it impacted users who needed this view to compensate for low vision. I have more or less accepted this on faith, but wanted to solicit your advice on whether this assumption is correct. I find quite often that seas of white appear because social media features, which in an CSS-enabled display are quite small, in fact import a page from the social media, and the effect is to render what would otherwise be “invisible” content” into white space in CSS-disabled view.

 

Andy Keyworth

 

 

Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: When reviewing a site with CSS disabled, "sea of white" appears: is this a real accessibility issue?

Taliesin Smith
Hi Andy,
Without an example, it is hard to know for certain what the sea of white represents. It could be that the designer forgot to explicitly set a default text color (color: #000000; or something similar). It could be that the sea of white is white text on a white background. This text would still be visible to screen reader users, but certainly not to users with low vision.

There may be other reasons for the sea of white. It could be a design image that is being brought in through the background property.

I find turning off CSS to be a good technique to get an understanding of the underlying structure of the page.

The seas of white would need further investigation to know for sure if they represent missed content or potential barriers to AT.

-Taliesin

On Thu, Nov 27, 2014 at 1:36 PM, Andy Keyworth <[hidden email]> wrote:

Hi all,

 

When I was trained to do web accessibility testing, one thing I was directed to do was to disable CSS and review the page to observe how it linearizes. But I was also informed that if large white spaces  (“seas of white”) appeared in this view, that was an accessibility failure because it impacted users who needed this view to compensate for low vision. I have more or less accepted this on faith, but wanted to solicit your advice on whether this assumption is correct. I find quite often that seas of white appear because social media features, which in an CSS-enabled display are quite small, in fact import a page from the social media, and the effect is to render what would otherwise be “invisible” content” into white space in CSS-disabled view.

 

Andy Keyworth

 

 


Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

RE: When reviewing a site with CSS disabled, "sea of white" appears: is this a real accessibility issue?

Adam Cooper-8
In reply to this post by Andy Keyworth

Hi Andy,

 

I think disabling  CSS for testing purposes and actually using a page with no CSS are quite different things.

 

I often see ‘page is not accessible with CSS turned off’ listed as an issue on audit reports.

 

I think this can be very misleading and counterproductive.

 

The question is who chooses to disable or which user agents don't support CSS?

 

I’d be very interested to see some dependable statistics on this.

 

My inkling is that these numbers would be very small, and, while ‘pages not being accessible without CSS’ might be a barrier for these users, there are plenty of other accessibility issues out there.

 

I’d also be interested to see how big these ‘seas of white’ caused by social media widgets can be!

 

Cheers,

Adam

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From: Andy Keyworth [mailto:[hidden email]]
Sent: Friday, November 28, 2014 4:07 AM
To: [hidden email]
Subject: When reviewing a site with CSS disabled, "sea of white" appears: is this a real accessibility issue?

 

Hi all,

 

When I was trained to do web accessibility testing, one thing I was directed to do was to disable CSS and review the page to observe how it linearizes. But I was also informed that if large white spaces  (“seas of white”) appeared in this view, that was an accessibility failure because it impacted users who needed this view to compensate for low vision. I have more or less accepted this on faith, but wanted to solicit your advice on whether this assumption is correct. I find quite often that seas of white appear because social media features, which in an CSS-enabled display are quite small, in fact import a page from the social media, and the effect is to render what would otherwise be “invisible” content” into white space in CSS-disabled view.

 

Andy Keyworth

 

 

Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: When reviewing a site with CSS disabled, "sea of white" appears: is this a real accessibility issue?

David Woolley (E.L)
On 30/11/14 03:23, Adam Cooper wrote:
> The question is who chooses to disable or which user agents don't
> support CSS?
>
> I’d be very interested to see some dependable statistics on this.
>

The main purpose of this test is check whether the pages are written in
HTML, or just using the HTML vocabulary.

 From an accessibility point of view, and given that most authors only
provide visual styling, the main benefit is for the blind, although more
generally, proper HTML semantics mean that a browser can re-target the
page for other disabilities (e.g. pick out key navigation features, for
those confused by the complex visual structure, or insert large guard
bands around links, for those with poor motor control - the lack of such
tools probably indicates the lack of well written HTML, rather than the
lack of a market).  (It also makes mechanical processing easier,
although, unlike the with the original concept, current authors have
mixed feelings towards this; they want Google to find their page, but
they don't want the information to be extractable.)

Whilst I've mainly turned it off recently to get round "subscribe to us"
popups, I have, in the past, turned it off to get round particularly
badly styled pages, or pages that require a version of IE that is not
supported by the version of Windows I was using.

I do remember a case where I was frustrated that Android doesn't allow
you to turn off CSS and the only way of making the page usable would
have been to do so, although I forget which page that was.

The proper work flow for communications, is to decide the logical
structure of what you want to say, then flesh it out with words.  You
should be able to write the HMTL at this point.  Next you think about
layout and visual effects, and add the CSS. Finally, you might want to
tweak the wording, or re-order the structure, to improve the final
presentation. Most pages seem to be designed the opposite way round,
possibly with the logical structure never being considered.


Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: When reviewing a site with CSS disabled, "sea of white" appears: is this a real accessibility issue?

Userite
In reply to this post by Adam Cooper-8
Hi Adam,
 
Blind users do not use style sheets /except if you create a special audio css)
 
So this really is a serious accessibility issue
 
Regards
Richard
 
 
Sent: Sunday, November 30, 2014 3:23 AM
Subject: RE: When reviewing a site with CSS disabled, "sea of white" appears: is this a real accessibility issue?
 

Hi Andy,

 

I think disabling  CSS for testing purposes and actually using a page with no CSS are quite different things.

 

I often see ‘page is not accessible with CSS turned off’ listed as an issue on audit reports.

 

I think this can be very misleading and counterproductive.

 

The question is who chooses to disable or which user agents don't support CSS?

 

I’d be very interested to see some dependable statistics on this.

 

My inkling is that these numbers would be very small, and, while ‘pages not being accessible without CSS’ might be a barrier for these users, there are plenty of other accessibility issues out there.

 

I’d also be interested to see how big these ‘seas of white’ caused by social media widgets can be!

 

Cheers,

Adam

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From: Andy Keyworth [mailto:[hidden email]]
Sent: Friday, November 28, 2014 4:07 AM
To: [hidden email]
Subject: When reviewing a site with CSS disabled, "sea of white" appears: is this a real accessibility issue?

 

Hi all,

 

When I was trained to do web accessibility testing, one thing I was directed to do was to disable CSS and review the page to observe how it linearizes. But I was also informed that if large white spaces  (“seas of white”) appeared in this view, that was an accessibility failure because it impacted users who needed this view to compensate for low vision. I have more or less accepted this on faith, but wanted to solicit your advice on whether this assumption is correct. I find quite often that seas of white appear because social media features, which in an CSS-enabled display are quite small, in fact import a page from the social media, and the effect is to render what would otherwise be “invisible” content” into white space in CSS-disabled view.

 

Andy Keyworth

 

 

Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: When reviewing a site with CSS disabled, "sea of white" appears: is this a real accessibility issue?

Patrick H. Lauke
On 30/11/2014 15:27, Userite wrote:
> Hi Adam,
> Blind users do not use style sheets /except if you create a special
> audio css)
> So this really is a serious accessibility issue

Unless they use a text-only browser, or have explicitly set their
browser to ignore stylesheets, those users will get the same experience
(provided a site shows/hides things appropriately, e.g. using
display:none - which removes something visually, as well as from the DOM
representation seen by AT) as sighted users. So no, the above statement
is not accurate.

P
--
Patrick H. Lauke

www.splintered.co.uk | https://github.com/patrickhlauke
http://flickr.com/photos/redux/ | http://redux.deviantart.com
twitter: @patrick_h_lauke | skype: patrick_h_lauke

Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

RE: When reviewing a site with CSS disabled, "sea of white" appears: is this a real accessibility issue?

Andy Keyworth
Just following on from my original post; in case what I'm describing is unclear, I've prepared a sanitized screen capture. The screenshot is of a site with CSS disabled; the large red rectangle highlights one of several (the image became too long to meaningfully show them all) empty white spaces.

The spaces don't appear to affect either NVDA or JAWS, and the content otherwise seems to linearize well. There is no white text filling these spaces; my best deduction is these areas are defined by linked social media features. The only situation I can imagine this impacting is low-vision users who (by force of long habit, perhaps?) use a CSS-disabled view to read websites, and for whom these seas of white space would be challenging. But I don't know if there is any estimate on the number of real users this description fits.

Again, your opinions are greatly appreciated.

Andy Keyworth
Senior Web Accessibility Specialist
T-Base Communications
Phone: 613-236-0866 | Toll free: 1-800-563-0668 x 1256
www.tbase.com | Ogdensburg, NY | Ottawa, ON
ALL TOUCH POINTS. ALL ACCESS METHODS. ALL FORMATS.TM

This email may contain information that is privileged and confidential. If you have received this communication in error, please delete this email message immediately.

-----Original Message-----
From: Patrick H. Lauke [mailto:[hidden email]]
Sent: December-01-14 10:39 AM
To: [hidden email]
Subject: Re: When reviewing a site with CSS disabled, "sea of white" appears: is this a real accessibility issue?

On 30/11/2014 15:27, Userite wrote:
> Hi Adam,
> Blind users do not use style sheets /except if you create a special
> audio css) So this really is a serious accessibility issue

Unless they use a text-only browser, or have explicitly set their browser to ignore stylesheets, those users will get the same experience (provided a site shows/hides things appropriately, e.g. using display:none - which removes something visually, as well as from the DOM representation seen by AT) as sighted users. So no, the above statement is not accurate.

P
--
Patrick H. Lauke

www.splintered.co.uk | https://github.com/patrickhlauke http://flickr.com/photos/redux/ | http://redux.deviantart.com
twitter: @patrick_h_lauke | skype: patrick_h_lauke


-----
No virus found in this message.
Checked by AVG - www.avg.com
Version: 2014.0.4765 / Virus Database: 4189/8646 - Release Date: 11/28/14

sea-white-space.jpg (109K) Download Attachment
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: When reviewing a site with CSS disabled, "sea of white" appears: is this a real accessibility issue?

Patrick H. Lauke
On 01/12/2014 16:05, Andy Keyworth wrote:
> The only situation I can imagine this
> impacting is low-vision users who (by force of long habit, perhaps?)
> use a CSS-disabled view to read websites, and for whom these seas of
> white space would be challenging. But I don't know if there is any
> estimate on the number of real users this description fits.

I'll put my neck on the line and say that, in my estimation, this would
be an edge case at best, so would not regard that as a problem.

P
--
Patrick H. Lauke

www.splintered.co.uk | https://github.com/patrickhlauke
http://flickr.com/photos/redux/ | http://redux.deviantart.com
twitter: @patrick_h_lauke | skype: patrick_h_lauke

Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: When reviewing a site with CSS disabled, "sea of white" appears: is this a real accessibility issue?

Chaals McCathie Nevile
Disabling CSS might be a proxy test for situations that are real - but it may be a bad one. Situations you should consider are people using high contrast modes, and people using a fair bit of magnification.

IMHO

cheers

01.12.2014, 19:17, "Patrick H. Lauke" <[hidden email]>:

> On 01/12/2014 16:05, Andy Keyworth wrote:
>>  The only situation I can imagine this
>>  impacting is low-vision users who (by force of long habit, perhaps?)
>>  use a CSS-disabled view to read websites, and for whom these seas of
>>  white space would be challenging. But I don't know if there is any
>>  estimate on the number of real users this description fits.
>
> I'll put my neck on the line and say that, in my estimation, this would
> be an edge case at best, so would not regard that as a problem.
>
> P
> --
> Patrick H. Lauke
>
> www.splintered.co.uk | https://github.com/patrickhlauke
> http://flickr.com/photos/redux/ | http://redux.deviantart.com
> twitter: @patrick_h_lauke | skype: patrick_h_lauke

--
Charles McCathie Nevile - web standards - CTO Office, Yandex
[hidden email] - - - Find more at http://yandex.com

Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

RE: When reviewing a site with CSS disabled, "sea of white" appears: is this a real accessibility issue?

Andy Keyworth
Thank you; this is what I've been suspecting.

Andy Keyworth
Senior Web Accessibility Specialist
T-Base Communications
Phone: 613-236-0866 | Toll free: 1-800-563-0668 x 1256
www.tbase.com | Ogdensburg, NY | Ottawa, ON
ALL TOUCH POINTS. ALL ACCESS METHODS. ALL FORMATS.TM

This email may contain information that is privileged and confidential. If
you have received this communication in error, please delete this email
message immediately.


-----Original Message-----
From: [hidden email] [mailto:[hidden email]]
Sent: December-01-14 11:24 AM
To: Patrick H. Lauke; [hidden email]
Subject: Re: When reviewing a site with CSS disabled, "sea of white"
appears: is this a real accessibility issue?

Disabling CSS might be a proxy test for situations that are real - but it
may be a bad one. Situations you should consider are people using high
contrast modes, and people using a fair bit of magnification.

IMHO

cheers

01.12.2014, 19:17, "Patrick H. Lauke" <[hidden email]>:

> On 01/12/2014 16:05, Andy Keyworth wrote:
>>  The only situation I can imagine this
>>  impacting is low-vision users who (by force of long habit, perhaps?)
>>  use a CSS-disabled view to read websites, and for whom these seas of
>>  white space would be challenging. But I don't know if there is any
>>  estimate on the number of real users this description fits.
>
> I'll put my neck on the line and say that, in my estimation, this
> would be an edge case at best, so would not regard that as a problem.
>
> P
> --
> Patrick H. Lauke
>
> www.splintered.co.uk | https://github.com/patrickhlauke 
> http://flickr.com/photos/redux/ | http://redux.deviantart.com
> twitter: @patrick_h_lauke | skype: patrick_h_lauke

--
Charles McCathie Nevile - web standards - CTO Office, Yandex
[hidden email] - - - Find more at http://yandex.com


-----
No virus found in this message.
Checked by AVG - www.avg.com
Version: 2014.0.4765 / Virus Database: 4189/8646 - Release Date: 11/28/14