Well, that didn’t take long.
Earlier this week, Twitter rolled out subtle design changes across its website and mobile apps, including a new ‘Chirp’ font and new buttons and links with increased visual contrast. Users generally disliked the changes, and now some users have reported eye strain, headaches and migraines because of it.
Twitter’s Accessibility account (@TwitterA11y) posted an update noting that it will make contrast changes on all buttons to make them “easier on the eyes.”
We've identified issues with the Chirp font for Windows users and are actively working on a fix. Thanks for your patience and please let us know if you have additional feedback.
— Twitter Accessibility (@TwitterA11y) August 14, 2021
While changes to popular apps and services are almost always met with dislike from users, The Verge points out Twitter’s change highlights a common problem with accessibility in tech. Apps and services often don’t give users choice (or only offer a limited choice) when it comes to accessibility features.
Accessibility isn’t a one-size-fits-all thing. What works for some people may cause others problems (for example, headaches). There isn’t one update that Twitter can roll out that will suddenly make its website more accessible to everyone. Instead, the company should work towards adding multiple options to allow users to customize the interface to their needs. Granted, Twitter does offer some options, but the more flexible, the better.
Aside from the accessibility issues, some users have pointed out other problems with the Twitter redesign. Namely, some users say the new buttons confuse them. Twitter reversed the style for the follow button, which is now filled in for users you don’t follow. Users say it’s weird and confusing, in part because it’s the opposite of the old design and in part because filled-in buttons often signal ‘pressed’ buttons.
It’s not clear if Twitter plans to change the buttons alongside the other accessibility changes.