Does my website or application need to be responsive?


Does my website or application need to be responsive, even if it is not intended to be used on mobile devices? Why?


Yes; the benefits of having a responsive website or application stretch beyond providing a good experience when using mobile devices. 

Many users who have low vision or other disabilities may need to zoom in on a page in order to observe and interact with the contents of that page. Ensuring that there is no loss of content or functionality when page zoom is increased makes it possible for these users to gather the same information and perform the same tasks as users who do not increase page zoom. Ensuring that a website or application adapts to increased zoom and maintains a good user experience helps ensure that not only will all content still be accessible, but the user's experience will still be a good one. Checking for this is part of our WCAG audit process; reach out to learn more!

Related WCAG Success Criteria

  • 1.4.4: Resize Text (2.0 AA)
    • Text must be able to be resized up to 200 percent without loss of content or functionality.
      • Captions and images of text are exceptions to this success criterion, but keep in mind that it is best to avoid using images of text whenever possible!
  • 1.4.10 Reflow (2.1 AA)
    • Content must be able to be “presented without a loss of information or functionality, and without requiring scrolling in two dimensions for vertical scrolling content at a width equivalent to 320 CSS pixels and horizontal scrolling content at a height equivalent to 256 pixels”.
      • Content that requires a two-dimensional layout for usage or meaning (for example: videos, games, or data tables) is exempt from this rule.
      • One way to test this rule is to set the viewport to 1280 x 1024 CSS pixels, then zoom to 400%. This is equivalent to viewing content at a viewport of 320 x 256 CSS pixels. For additional help, the Guided Manual WCAG Audit Tool from Accessible Web includes a step to automatically prepare your viewport to check content at different zoom levels.

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