Wednesday, April 05, 2006

i can see clearly now

Time for a new look at Badger Towers. Been meaning to do it for yonks, but you know how it is.

No big dramatic reason, it's just that reading light-on-dark is a bit taxing to many people's eyes.

Rather like the way the advent of Word and DTP programs made many of us print reams of stuff in very pretty fonts without thinking about the readability of 3,000 words in 6pt Algerian, so websites tended to bright and flashy and blogs be done out in lovely colours while the effectiveness of imparting of information took a backseat.

Google were way ahead of us all with their clean stark layout, but we're catching up.


Anonymous said...

Nice one. And about time too (if I may be so bold as to say so). It's funny the way almost everyone starts out on the web with unusual colour schemes and layouts, and then slowly realises that actually... black/dark grey text on a white/light grey background is used by most websites for a very good reason. It's easy to read.

I can remember the very first website I built had white text on a black and green fractal background... it was damn near impossible to read.

Accessibility studies have shown that black on bright yellow is actually the most readable of all colour schemes, and on past sites I built, I've had to provide an alternate style for the visually impaired in that rather garish combination. Turns out that black on white is almost as readable, so most sites don't bother with the black'n'yellow combo as it looks bloody ugly, despite being readable.

Gael said...

It's interesting the way the eyes & the brain work to interpret text, because for people with dyslexia and other similar conditions, it has been found that different coloured backgrounds can help a lot in enabling them to decipher text. Black (or very dark)writing is, I think, almost always best, but depending on the condition the backhround can be pale pink/blue/green. I remember reading Jackie Jackson's account of parenting four (?) sons with varying autistic conditions, and she found that they each had different needs as far as text presentation was concerned.
The brain is indeed a mightily complex thing!