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Should DEV.to pause GIFs?

Andrew Nevins
Accessibility advocate
・1 min read

Sometimes our feeds on dev.to are populated by animated GIFs and images from people's posts. I get that images are great ways to bring someone into the post, but when they're animated images it distracts me from reading the rest of the posts.

Should there be a pause/ play control for each GIF image post? That may help with one or two GIFs, but I imagine it would be tedious to control for 3 or more posts.

Should there be a global site-wide option to disable GIFs that can be found in your profile settings?

If we're conforming to WCAG, the guideline this relates to is Pause, Stop, Hide (2.2.2)

For any moving, blinking or scrolling information that (1) starts automatically, (2) lasts more than five seconds, and (3) is presented in parallel with other content, there is a mechanism for the user to pause, stop, or hide it unless the movement, blinking, or scrolling is part of an activity where it is essential; ...

Presently I admit that there are few posts with animated GIFs on my feeds, however this falls onto chance. Unless I am wrong, there are no limitations into the number of animated GIFs appearing on your feed and length of their animations.

My motivation is to prevent the distraction scenarios manifesting into problems for the audience of DEV.to.

Happy to hear insights.

Discussion (2)

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mizziness profile image
Tammy Shipps

I've been thinking about this, too, but I'm not sure it's an easy obstacle to conquer. Moving images are usually used to convey something wordless, sometimes but not always containing words - perhaps the idea is to have a way to specify timing or frame-based aria labels in the future? Embed CC into images with no words? And what should we do about emojis and similar "sticker" animated graphics? So many of us those them for punctuation :O

I'm not sure what the right answer is.

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moopet profile image
Ben Sinclair

And what should we do about emojis

For me, if we could opt to replace them with words that'd be something. I prefer on Slack to see :slightly-smiling-face: than I do to see a picture. This is because I don't know what half of them are supposed to mean. It's difficult for people with poor eyesight, devices with different emoji or who have trouble understanding emotional responses.