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I am working on a website at the moment and someone else is in charge of the HTML/CSS side of things.

I've noticed it's not possible to zoom in and out with the browser function of cmd and + or -. The website just rescales instantly due to the css.

I don't know how important this feature is in terms of accessibility. Do people with strong impairments of vision use it regularly or are there other use cases I am not aware of?

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Short Answer

Browser zoom is probably the most used accessibility feature. Also make sure pinch to zoom works on a mobile as that is used even more.

Long Answer

Lost of people use browser zoom to some extent.

They may not necessarily be disabled.

For example I am currently viewing this site at 150% zoom. This is due to having a 40" 4k monitor monitor positioned about a meter away. I have no disabilities but without being able to zoom this site the text would be too small to read.

More importantly - the Web Aim low vision survey shows around 44% of assistive technology users use the browser zoom settings.

Web aim survey screenshot

screenshot of webaim survery highlighting 44% of users responded that they use browser zoom as an accessibility feature

How import is zooming in and out (cmd + , cmd - ) for websites (Desktop view) in terms of accessibility?

"very".

It is very important to allow users to zoom into your site.

I would normally cite WCAG rules here (1.4.4 resize text, 1.4.10 reflow) but I think that would be unnecessary ;-) and instead say that common sense says allow zooming on your site.

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  • great, thank you for your reply! – emha Oct 29 '20 at 17:00
  • not a problem, glad it helped. – Graham Ritchie Oct 29 '20 at 17:10

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