Nomura : Sizing-up issues

Ambiguity blunts the usefulness of a site viewing control.

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The Site

Nomura, a Japan-based financial services group, invests too little attention to detail in its deployment of a site-wide viewing aid. Nomura’s global corporate site features a 'Size' control in the header bar on every page. The feature presents two arrowed buttons, one pointing upwards and labelled with an alternative text tag 'Large', the other pointed down and labelled 'Small'. Clicking the arrows allows users to switch the page's text (and, where shown, its secondary menu) between three gradated size configurations (equivalent to large, medium and small).

The Takeaway

Nomura’s Size feature is clearly intended as a basic accessibility aid, allowing users to vary the type size to best suit their eyesight. Unfortunately its effectiveness is inherently compromised and it has the potential to confuse users on two distinct counts. First, the lack of labelling on the feature means users are given no clear indication of what the ‘Size’ control relates to – is it text, image size, page view (zooming)? Second, the provision of two buttons coupled with their underlying labels (Large and Small respectively) does not suggest the full range of three text-size settings. Rather than leave users needing to invest time in trial and error testing to discover what the tool can do, Nomura could adopt the system favoured by many sites that features a control made up of a capitalised ‘A’ displayed in varying sizes. This tells users instantly and simultaneously that the control relates to text size and how many sizing options are available.
First published 31 July, 2012
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