There are a few websites I visit daily or multiple times a week, such as my WordPress dashboard, school website, and digital services from my public library. Instead of having a bunch of tiny icons crammed onto my Favorites tab, I wanted to find more helpful ways to bookmark websites for easier access across my favorite devices, and add websites to my device home screen or device taskbar. Here are the most helpful ways to bookmark websites for low vision users that go outside a traditional folder or notepad. This is especially helpful for students who are working on a writing project or who use a lot of web applications for school.
Add website to Windows taskbar
When I was redesigning my desktop and toolbar on my Windows 10 and Windows 11 computers, I added website links to my taskbar so I could select the icon to immediately open a new tab or browser window with a specific website. This was a game changer for writing posts for my website, as I only have to click two buttons to start writing a new post and don’t get distracted by deciding to go to another website instead.
To add a website to Windows taskbar from Microsoft Edge or Google Chrome:
- Select the three dots in the top right corner to open the Settings menu, or use the keyboard shortcut alt-F
- Select More Tools
- Select Pin to Taskbar (or Pin to Start to add to the Start menu)
- How To Customize Icons In Windows 10
- How To Create Custom Keyboard Shortcuts in Windows
- Low Vision Accessibility Settings For Windows 10
Add website to iOS home screen
Since I do a lot of schoolwork and research on my iPad, I have several websites organized into folders on my iPad home screen, as well as links to web applications I use frequently like the Desmos calculator or research databases. These open in my device’s default web browser.
To add a website to the iOS home screen:
- Open a website in the desired web browser
- Tap the Share button
- Tap Add to Home Screen
- Drag the icon to the desired location on the home screen
- How I Arrange My iPad Homescreen
- Enabling Temporary Accessibility Settings For iPad
- Five Accessible Calculator Apps For Low Vision
Add website to Android home screen
I don’t actually have any icons on my current home screen design, as I prefer gestures. But just like with iOS, users can also add website shortcuts to their Android home screen.
To add a website to the Android home screen with any launcher program:
- Open a website in Google Chrome
- Tap the Menu button
- Tap Add to home screen, editing the name if needed
Some launchers allow users to choose custom icons for their home screen, or customize the size of the icon.
- How To Create A Custom Android Home Screen With Microsoft Launcher
- Make Any Android Smartphone Accessible For $20
Collect several links with Collections in Microsoft Edge
There are a few different websites that allow users to add links to folders that go beyond the standard bookmarks menu. Since I use the Microsoft Edge browser across all my devices, I use the Collections feature to divide content into folders- for example, I have a collection dedicated to library download links for Freegal Music, a collection for websites I want to test out or add to a blog post, and a collection of Spotify playlists. I prefer using Collections over the bookmark tab because it is easier for me to enlarge text or see website icons/pictures added to the links.
I’ve shared a link from Microsoft below about how to set up Collections in Microsoft Edge across multiple devices.
- Organize your ideas with Collections in Microsoft Edge – Microsoft Support
- My Favorite Digital Library Resources For Low Vision
Creating shortcuts with virtual assistants
I open websites using Google Assistant and Siri, and don’t want to necessarily announce the full URL of a website to open it. Instead, I create shortcuts such as “Go to the library” to open my college’s library website, share names of my favorite food blogs, or say “open Veronica With Four Eyes” to open my own website.
To create a website shortcut with Google Assistant:
- Open Google Assistant and say/type Open Your Stuff
- Search for Shortcuts and scroll to See All
- Select the + icon next to shortcuts of interest. Shortcuts can be edited before being added
For Chromebook devices:
- Press the Assistant icon or say “Ok Google”.
- At the top right, select the Options menu and open Your Stuff
- Select Shortcuts and Create new shortcut
- Under “When I say Ok Google”, enter the phrase to activate the skill
- Under “Google Assistant should”, enter the desired Google Assistant action
To create a website shortcut with Siri:
- Open the Shortcuts app and create a new shortcut for Hey Siri
- Enter the phrase or word that will activate the skill
- Add the name of the website to open
- Save the skill, which can be accessed by saying Hey Siri
Add a website to a folder or ZIP file
One of my professors sent me a ZIP file of several assignments along with shortcut links to research papers, which was helpful when I couldn’t attend class for a month due to illness. This can be done by using the Ctrl-S (save) keyboard shortcut, and saving the webpage to the desired location. This saves the complete view of the page, though for a more dynamic/up-to-date page, it is better to add the website hyperlink to a document as this only saves an offline view of one page.
- How I Read Research Sources With Assistive Technology
- How I Find Research Sources In Accessible Formats
- How I Outline Research Papers With OneNote
Other helpful ways to bookmark websites for low vision users
- I like creating “hyperdocs” for projects using Microsoft Office Sway that can organize multiple websites in one place. Learn more about how I use Sway in Creating Take-Away Documents With Microsoft Office Sway
- Another popular option for storing websites with an online bookmarking tool is Wakelet, which has several accessibility options- this was helpful when I had to organize multiple sources for a project
- I use pinned tabs on my computer so that websites automatically load when I open a new browser session. Right-click on an active tab and select Pin Tab