Serious accessibility flaw regarding the default font (Whitney)


4 kommentarer

  • LunaGore

    I'm having the same issue and messaged them about it, haven't heard a response yet after some back and forth basic troubleshooting.

  • CyberneticSusurrus

    Another obvious accessibility failing is that capital I (i) and lowercase l (L) look identical on Discord: Il

    Edit: Seemingly not the case here.

  • notsoencrypted

    As the OP points out, many Discord users (especially people with various disabilities, such as dyslexia, discalculia, low vision, macular degeneration, etc) make use of built-in font-changing settings or extensions that allow them to choose the font that fits their needs most appropriately.

    While being able to change the default font size and adjust Discord's "zoom" is a good starting place, many modern fonts are very narrow, making them difficult for people with low vision to discern. Making the font larger does not address the spacing and width of the letters, and only makes them take up more real estate vertically without doing much to improve readability. Wider fonts can be significantly more legible for small screens (like mobile devices) and for those of us who struggle with our vision. Being able to choose something like Verdana instead of Calibri (to use Windows-specific examples) can make a huge difference in accessibility.

    Here's a quick example: All three of these fonts at the presented size have the first letter at the same height: 12 pixels. You can quickly see how Verdana's width is much greater (it also preserves a greater distance between words, which various research papers indicate may help with legibility for those who struggle with vision issues). In this way, even Calibri is preferable to Discord's font, Whitney.

    Additionally, people who struggle with dyslexia may not need the same width that people with low vision needs do, but instead need fonts with other settings that benefit readability for those individuals. Comic Sans has scored well for readability in studies focused on dyslexia (often scoring close or the same as fonts made for dyslexia), so while support for any font on a user's machine would be preferable, even making it possible to use what  most devices have available by "default" would be a huge benefit to many users.

    Thank you for your consideration on this.

  • notsoencrypted

    Oh, and one other thought: Being able to adjust font colors and background colors beyond light/dark could help with accessibility, as well. The more contrast between a foreground and background, the more legible the font. Discord's dark theme "scores" a 11.57:1 for chat text and a borderline-failing score of 4.15:1 on the dark menu. The light theme "seems" better to me, but I think it would be valuable for your staff to check the contrast ratios on that as well. Anyway, if users were able to adjust colors themselves, they could use pure black and pure white for optimal contrast (at 21:1 as the ratio used above works) if needed, or whatever contrast fits their sight issues (blue on yellow is often very useful for those with significant vision loss).


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