This back and forth demonstrates how crucial choices are for accessibility.
Twitter is readjusting the contrast on its buttons following feedback about its design updates from earlier this week. Some people have reported eye strain, headaches, and migraines due to the higher visual contrast in the colors of buttons and links and the new font, Chirp.
We're making contrast changes on all buttons to make them easier on the eyes because you told us the new look is uncomfortable for people with sensory sensitivities. We're listening and iterating.— Twitter Accessibility (@TwitterA11y) August 13, 2021
Contrast also introduced a black button to follow someone if they’re not following you, which confused many who were used to it being the opposite. It is not yet clear if this change will be reversed.
Twitter’s redesign received mixed reactions, as is the case with any popular site. Some Twitter users might have gotten used to the changes over time. However, those who feel the new design has caused pain have highlighted a problem in online accessibility: the lack of choice.
Accessibility doesn’t have to be a one-size-fits-all feature. A feature that makes a site more accessible for one person may make it more difficult for another. People with low vision or colorblindness may find high helpful contrast, but it can cause discomfort for sensitive or sensitive to bright colors.
This is a great example of how some access needs routinely get centered over others within "accessible" processes!— Alex Haagaard (they/them) (@alexhaagaard) August 11, 2021
High contrast is notoriously NOT accessible for many photosensitive & chronically pained folks. https://t.co/c1AQNkMvC0
Twitter has many options, and there is not one that is the most accessible. Flexibility is key to accessibility. Users can choose the options that are most convenient for them. Twitter currently offers toggles that allow users to adjust settings such as increased color contrast or reduced motion. It also has display settings that enable people to choose between light and darker themes and scale text sizes.
Users could save many headaches by controlling the contrast they want and not waiting for Twitter to make all changes. Twitter didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment, but its @TwitterA11y account has been soliciting feedback about the changes.