Accessibility - Icons in Search menu are small, pale and hard to read

When I try to use the “Search” menu to conduct a search in my own observations, I find myself (and my 50+ eyes, though I have good glasses) struggling with the row of icons next to “Show only.”* They are small, pale gray, and very hard to make out at a glance, especially the ones that look similar to one another, like the insect symbol and the arachnid symbol.

Hovering over each icon does give you a pop-up of the corresponding class of organism, but since the icons are so small it’s an exercise in target-shooting, and in my opinion an unnecessary step. Wouldn’t it be better, from an accessibility standpoint, to simply put the names next to the checkboxes? If the icons are there to make the interface look “friendlier”, they could still be there, accompanying the class names (even then, they should be a darker color to be made out at all.)

  • I’m saying “class” though I haven’t checked them all, they are not all classes apparently? What are they, then?

Thank you for bringing this up, it’s important.

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That page is one of the oldest parts of the website and I’m surprised it’s still linked to in the navigation actually. Its successor is the Observations search page, aka “Explore”, which is due for updating itself. If you click “Your Observations” in the main header, you can see, search, and filter a list of your observations, with darker icons:

They’re called “iconic taxa” - basically the main groups of organisms that most people think about when you start dividing up “life”.


Out of votes, but definitely supporting any ideas that help with accessibility.


Oh lordy, I hope they don’t get rid of that page. I find “Explore” intensely annoying when searching through my own observations. The “Search” page is quick and easy to use.

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The export tool has a similar problem with grey icons. But when “Select All” is clicked, the icons are all shown in colour, which makes everything a lot clearer. So a simple fix would be to just show the colour icons by default. (The checkbox indicates which option is selected/unselected, so there’s no need to grey the icons out as well). Here’s some before and after screenshots:



You’re referring to this?

If so, I tend to agree with you.

Anything specific about Explore that you find slower or less useful?

I withdraw my comment (after writing a long response)… just realized that with the ‘map/grid/list’ feature I can view the observations as a list. The only search parameter I can’t find is the ‘Exact Taxon’, which is not one I use much.

If you mean “Exact rank”…


…that can be achieved by choosing the same rank in the Filters:

Eg here are all my reptile observations at the exact rank of subspecies on Edit Observations and Explore.

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