Thursday, August 30, 2007

Increasing target size

In 1996 there were over 40 sets of web accessibility guidelines that we attempted to coalesce into a single document. One of the sets focused on increasing the size of active elements to make easier targets for people with dexterity issues. 10 years later, iPhone users want larger targets - finally a use case that sells. I hope all those folks looking for larger targets will learn how to apply iphone styles to their web experience.
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Now, look at your web page. How many pixels are between the items on your navbar? If you answer less than 40, then you’re effectively asking your visitor to play Russian roulette: their 40-80 pixel finger isn’t going to hit your 20 pixel link effectively.

When you use iPhone specific styles, it improves accessibility for someone working on a high-density mobile device. My rule of thumb is to double important elements: bumping a font-size from 18px to 36px, for example. You’ll want to focus both on interactive elements (such as <a> and <input>) and navigational indicators (such as section titles and bread crumb trails).

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