Spotlight 33

Adaptability

(WCAG 1.3.4, 1.4.4, 1.4.10)

Let’s review three guidelines that talk about making content adaptable to different user needs and preferences, such as the ability to view content in different orientations, resize text for better readability, and reflow content.

What the criteria say

Orientation

1.3.4 Orientation (Level AA) states that content should not restrict its view and operation to a single display orientation, such as portrait or landscape, unless a specific display orientation is essential. This means that users should be able to view and interact with the content in either portrait or landscape orientation, without losing any information or functionality.

This might be important for learners who use a mounted device in a fixed orientation on a wheelchair as they're not able to change the orientation. 

Mobile-responsive authoring tools such as Articulate Rise 360 or Evolve by Intellum automatically scale the content to the orientation of the users' devices.

With slide-based authoring tools, such as Articulate Storyline 360, you should select the option that allows the users to view the content in either landscape or portrait view. 

Screenshot of the Responsive Playback panel in Storyline 360. There are two dropdowns: one for allowing playback on tablets and one for allowing playback on phones. In both case, the option "Landscape and Portrait" is selected.

Setting up adaptable orientation in Storyline 360

Enlarging content

The following criteria are about allowing users to enlarge the text without causing other problems. 

WCAG 1.4.4 Resize text (Level AA) states that, except for captions and images of text, learners should be able to resize text to 200% without losing content or functionality. Additionally, one of the recommendations under 1.4.8 Visual Presentation (Level AAA) says that enlarging text to 200% on a standard-sized desktop/laptop display should not trigger horizontal scrolling. This means that users should be able to double the size of text without affecting functions, navigation or scrolling. 

Mobile-responsive authoring tools can automatically scale the content to the required size. However, some tools lack support for content zooming.

1.4.10 Reflow (Level AA) mainly applies to mobile devices but also to desktop screens zoomed in at 400%. It states that content should retain information and functionality, and without requiring both vertical and horizontal scrolling simultaneously

While Storyline 360 doesn't fully support this criterion, there are exemptions that apply to "two-dimensional" content where the layout is important in conveying meaning. 

Text-only image. The text reads: Adaptability  1.3.4 Orientation (AA) Allow the view and operation to be portrait or landscape. 1.4.4 Resize text (AA) Allow resizing of text to 200% without losing content or functionality.  1.4.8 Visual Presentation (AAA) Enlarging text to 200% on a standard-sized desktop should not trigger horizontal scrolling.  1.4.10 Reflow (AA) Small or zoomed-in screens should retain functionality without both vertical and horizontal scrolling.
Adaptability (WCAG 1.3.4, 1.4.4, 1.4.10)

Resources:

Discussion questions:

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Spotlight 34: Keyboard accessibility