I’m starting to feel like Apple has a vendetta against anyone with a vestibular disorder. tvOS recently appeared with a ‘Reduce Motion’ setting so ineffective that it may as well have played a little sniggering noise when activated. And I’ve now, grudgingly, updated my main work Mac to OS X El Capitan. I’m not having fun.
Craig Grannell has been writing about this for a while. He has a vestibular issue which causes dizziness when certain visual stimuli move around. I have a similar, yet less serious issue, and I, too, find that the swimmy motion in iOS and OS X is painful at times. (Remember the constantly moving background when you used to enter Time Machine to restore files?) I’ve turned off as much of the motion as I can, not just because it’s problematic for me, but because it’s useless eye candy.
But it’s not just motion, it’s Apple’s general approach. In many iOS apps, fonts are too small and can’t be changed, or contrast isn’t ideal. This has improved – look at the Notes app in iOS 8, and now in iOS 9 – but it’s still not ideal. And third-party apps are worse. So many apps either don’t let you change fonts and sizes, or impose just a few limited size options. Or they don’t use Apple’s system-wide font size setting on iOS. The entire Apple/iOS developer community needs to pay more attention to these issues; we’re not all 25-year olds with excellent vision.
A number of times, I’ve written to developers asking why they don’t offer font options, at least to change the size. The ones who reply generally say that they’ll add it to their list of potential “features.” But allowing users to change the size of fonts isn’t a feature, it’s a basic requirement.