The official website of the White House, WhiteHouse.gov, has been completely replaced with a new version for the Biden administration, and it comes with some unexpected accessibility features: a high contrast mode, which serves as a dark mode, and a toggle to make the font size larger.
Both options show up along the left rail as big, easy-to-click or tap buttons, and that’s the way you’ll need to toggle them. Even if your device has a system-wide dark mode, the White House website won’t switch over automatically. That’s because it’s really there to serve as an accessibility feature, meant to help anyone who would have trouble reading or looking at a bright white screen with black text.
With dark mode being very popular among heavy computer users as well, people online were understandably excited to see the change.
The large text mode — no surprises — makes the text on the site significantly larger, while still preserving the layout, something that may not be true when using a browser’s built-in zoom ability.
The site in both high contrast and large text mode.
Acting as a recruiting tool for anyone who’s looking into the site’s code, the HTML header also makes a callout to the US Digital Service. The group, led by a former Google engineer, is tasked with making sure US government websites are as good as any of the other ones we visit on a daily basis.
Here are the buttons.
While the previous WhiteHouse.gov site wasn’t a trainwreck by any means (at least technically speaking), it’s good to see that the new administration is taking accessibility and digital competency seriously from the start.