Text only

As a basic rule it would be good to ensure that the site under test works in text only mode. This is particularly important from an accessibility point of view, but is could be a good goal to aim for from a simplicity point of view too.

It’s hard to find sites that work in purely text only mode. Text only mode sites are often external to the main landing page. (i.e. the main site offers a text only parallel site).

There are still mixed views on the benefits of providing a text only version of the site.

How to check for text only
The easiest way to achieve a text only version of a site is to enable the Developer Tools on your browser. For simplicity reasons I have chosen to use the “Developer Tool Bar" for Firefox.

Once installed you need to seek out the option that allows you to turn text only mode on.

In the “Developer Tool Bar" it is found here:

Images > Disable All Images
Then select Disable > Disable JavaScript
Then select CSS > Disable Styles > All Styles

This will result in a completely text only version to test against. You may find you lose some features you need, or the flow is wrong, or you really need the visual symbolism a picture displays to make sense of the page.

Useful Hint
There are plenty of other options in the Web Developer Tool Bar in Firefox that will give you insights in to how your site might perform on devices that don’t support certain features, or for users who are seeking accessible pages.

Useful Links
Information on Text Only

The Developer Tool Bar extension for Firefox


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