I’ve spent the morning optimising the Discourse side of our platform for accessibility. My ultimate goal is to limit the extraneous cognitive load required to consume the site. Extraneous cognitive load is anything taking up mental resources outside of the primary goal of the page (i.e. understanding or learning).
The key changes that I’ve made are:
- Increased the base font size of posts to 16pt
- Changed the body font colour to #2F4F4F (dark slate grey)
- Changed the background colour to #FBFBFB (e-paper light)
- Changed the unvisited links to #e63e00 (dark orange) and visited links to #2F4F4F (dark slate grey)
I’ve also made a few other small changes and are a few others to come (like upping the font size in the create post window).
Dark grey text on a light grey background is more comfortable to read than black on white because there is less contrast, and it goes without saying that a larger font size is easier to read.
Clearly differentiating between link colours is an easy way to provide short term memory support (you don’t have to remember where you’ve been because you can see at a glance) which is a good way to reduce extraneous cognitive load.
The great thing about Discourse is that I am easily able to make these changes by customising our CSS through the AdminCP.