CSE498, Collaborative Design, Fall 2021
Computer Science and Engineering
Michigan State University

Mozilla is a global, not-for-profit organization dedicated to improving the World Wide Web. They have an international community of developers who contribute to open-source software.

Mozilla’s most popular open-source project is Firefox, with over 210 million monthly active users. Mozilla’s goal as a company is to promote an open and inclusive internet. Part of this is making sure Firefox is usable by as many people as possible.

To achieve this goal, Firefox offers high contrast mode, which is a huge part of making the browser as accessible as possible. High contrast mode improves the visibility of Firefox’s user interface by changing the colors in order to maximize contrast. This is important as it allows people with visual impairments to be able to receive the entire Firefox experience.

While the high contrast mode currently in Firefox is an essential feature for making the browser more accessible, there is still more that can be done to make high contrast mode even better. Specifically, high contrast mode does not perfectly cover the entirety of Firefox’s user interface. This leads to confusion among users with visual impairments and an overall non-optimal user experience.

Our Improve High Contrast Mode project focuses on fixing many of these smaller issues to greatly improve the user experience of high contrast mode inside of Firefox. Our additions include things such as adding outlines to tab buttons, improving icon visibility and adjusting button colors to improve contrast.

In the screenshots to the right, one can see various pages of the Firefox browser using our Improve High Contrast Mode for Firefox project.

To implement our fixes, we edit and improve the already existing CSS, JavaScript, and HTML of Firefox. Additionally, some of our edits are written in C++.