Some thoughts on using Vivaldi by the visually impaired.
hatrack last edited by
A few days ago, I posted a request for help to this Forum and this was answered very promptly. During these exchanges, I had mentioned that I am visually impaired so Gwen-Dragon asked me to write a few thoughts on browsers for use by those with visual impairment.
From the standpoint of the user, they want good contrast and easily-resolved text. In this regard, the designers of Vivaldi have done an very good job --- the use of white letters on a dark blue background for the "Settings" pages, as well as for "Bookmarks" and "History" is excellent and this is aided by the use of a nice clean "sans serif" font (Arial ?). Further to this idea, I have my Browser zoom (Settings > Appearance > User Interface Zoom) set up to 130%.
It was the ability to extensively customise the UI which lead me to Vivaldi and I have now standardised on this completely and actually prefer it to Firefox, which I had used from about Vers: 3.0. When configuring my system, I chose the theme called "Bluepoint", set the Accent colour to "ffb608" and the Background to "1e3a70" (defaults) and then edited the theme to give corner rounding of 14 pix (maximum). I found a nice abstract image on the Web which I have added to my theme to be the background for Start Page and all opened folders. This is a pattern of curves, drawn in mid-grey against a black background. In use, it integrates itself into a soft grey background to the colourful top-level directories.
A point which is the absolute decider is the ability to set "Custom Thumbnails". (I dislike that expression and will call these "Vivaldi-Logos" from now on). I have over 1000 bookmarks which I have transferred from Firefox and I am in the process of editing these. Clearly, for anyone who is visually impaired, miniature replicas of the title page are of little use. What I have done is to create "labels" --- correctly sized and coloured, carrying the "name" or the particular URL in a nice clear font. I use "Times New Roman Bold Italic" and set the text height to 50 pixels. (If anyone is interested in the details of my procedure, I will produce a write-up).
There are two areas on which Vivaldi falls down badly, If the user selects "Help > About", the descriptive text is completely invisible because the designer has used a light grey font on a white background. This may well look very "smart" to a young person with perfect vision but it cannot be read by anyone even slightly impaired visually. A similar criticism applies to quoted code in posts to the Forum --- who on earth thought that miniature text (I guess about 4 point) in pale pink on a white background is readable ? I see a vague pink smear, even with the aid of a x3.5 hand magnifier, The only way to read the information in these two instances is to "Select" the text field, "Copy" to clipboard and then "Paste" into a text editor. I am running Linux Mint so I use the default editor (Pluma) and employ the dark blue "Cobalt" theme with white text in Arial at 18 point.
Readers will have seen that contrast is very important so I would like to mention an extension which I have found most useful. This is called "No Squint Plus" and can be used to set up and save viewing conditions on a site-by-site basis. Of particular interest is the ability to set a background colour. I use a pale yellow (# fffbaf) which is very restful compared to the harsh glare from blank white screen.
As a final point, I would like to mention the cause of the problem which brought me to the Forum, requesting help. I was using the right-click menu system to "Cut" and then "Paste" URLs into the folders allocated for them. Unfortunately, the command "Paste" is immediately adjacent to "Delete". I had relocated about 130 URLs into folders and then was moving the loaded folders to the next higher level when I accidentally hit "Delete" instead of "Paste". This was not a case of carelessness --- depending upon where on the macular the lesion is located, the mouse pointer vanishes into a grey blur when the user looks at this directly.
Now, the designers cannot be expected to design for every eventually but I respectfully suggest that, when designing menus they consider the possibilities arising from accidentally selecting an adjacent field. Naturally, an error event will arise but I suggest that by a little judicious rearrangement of the items in the menu, the system could "fail-safe" at this point.
I hope readers will find this presentation of interest and I will do my best to answer any questions that may arise.
Best regards to all on this Forum.
Now, the designers cannot be expected to design for every eventually
It is almost impossible to please everyone here. We see many requests to move "Open link in Background Tab" to the top of the menu, but that would be a problem for users accustomed to the current menu setup.
The only practical solution is this one:
Allow Editing of Menus
In Opera 12.18 my menus are heavily customised to suit my personal needs, and are generally much shorter than the default menus.
There are several requests for improved thumbnails:
Improve Speed Dial Thumbnails' appearance please
Steffie last edited by
@hatrack I commend you on this magnificent post, & your resourcefulness. There's great feedback here for the V Devs i believe. Onya.
TbGbe last edited by
If the user selects "Help > About", the descriptive text is completely invisible because the designer has used a light grey font on a white background. This may well look very "smart" to a young person with perfect vision but it cannot be read by anyone even slightly impaired visually.
That is an excellent point and worth reporting. Not sure if "Accessability" is a bug or feature request, but it doesn't matter - they are both submitted at
After reporting the issue, you will receive a confirmation mail from the bugtracker giving the VB-XXXXX bug number. In a reply to this mail you can add more information and files (like screenshots) as attachments and it will be added automatically to the report.
@hatrack i am pleased to see your feedback and ideas.
Please report found issues and ideas/suggestions regarding accessability for impaired users to our bugtracker.
We have some rules for bugreports:
If you have found different issues, please one report for each. If you have many suggestions, please one report for each.
Collecting all issues or suggestions/feature/wishes in one report can not be by handle by our devs an testers. Sorry, that is the development process.
As i am slightly impaired i often use the keyboard navigation and i need glasses.
I will have a eye on better accessability, i am one of the testers having a eye on better accessability with Vivaldi browser.
As Vivaldi Technologies says: Vivaldi is a browser for Friends, all people with all needs.
Now, please send us you reports.
How to do a bug report for Vivaldi
Report each bug separately at https://vivaldi.com/bugreport/
Describe the issue as precise as you can.
Add some information about extensions you use.
Add information about the operating system and version you use.
Add some information which security tools you use.
If you have problems with video or audio give us information about your installed codecs and graphics
Add a exact link to the page where the issue comes up and can be tested.
After reporting the issue, you will receive a confirmation mail from the bugtracker.
In a reply to this mail you can add more information and files (like screenshots or testcases) as
attachments and it will be added automatically to bug report.
If you have questions about the bug please ask in forum first and do not forget to post the VB-XXXXX
bug number (you can find it in confirmation mail).
Thanks in advance for helping us to make Vivaldi better!