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Poobah
Picture of Mary Jo Disler
posted
This is probably just a bit of a rant, but after seeing too many of these, just want to make a plea to web designers out there:
PLEASE think very carefully about the artsy aspects - mainly how clearly text is displayed. There are (in my opinion) too many white text on black or dark colored backgrounds. VERY difficult to read. I usually leave those sites right away.

Today happened on a site with light blue text on dark blue background. - Didn't even TRY to read it, though the subject matter of the site was of interest.

I think you all get the idea. My site has a dark purple/lavender color on cream, but it's at least readable.

I don't know if white text on black background is the usual thing with photographers, but on a web site, or in software, it just doesn't do these older eyes any favors. (The interface of PS Elements 6 as Terry showed it appeared to be white on black. I could barely make it out. Adobe, what were you thinking!)


"For what is age but youth's full bloom,
A riper, more transcendent youth" - Oliver Wendell Holmes
 
Posts: 2066 | Location: West Bloomfield MI USA | Registered: June 13, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
iBBS Addict
Picture of CHunter
posted Hide Post
Mary Jo,
Right now that plea may fall of deaf ears.
As a beta tester of Acrobat 9, I pleaded the exact same case.
To contrast is too stark, it hurts the eyes.
As a designer in Architecture school, we learned other reasons
why and why not to use black and white in close patterns.
It causes the brain to think that things are moving, sometimes will cause vertigo.
For text it is a miss-step.
 
Posts: 1613 | Registered: June 16, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
iBBS Addict
Picture of James R. Cutler
posted Hide Post
Mary Jo,

My un-favorite is red on black. Most unreadable of all. So, I do not read it.

Another un-favorite is Dilbert's use of Flash to display one .gif file. Unreal!
 
Posts: 1964 | Registered: January 02, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Poobah
Picture of Mary Jo Disler
posted Hide Post
Chita - Does Acrobat 9 use the light text/dark background interface? (I had a wall to wall day & couldn't get to the InD User Group presentation.)

If so, count me out. It just doesn't make sense.

The re-adjustment of one's vision to all of these variations on the web is bad enough. If applications are going this route, they've lost me as a customer.

There is real value in some consistency, now that personal computers & the web are commonplace. Trendy doesn't count. Any drastic changes HAVE to make some practical sense, or the user with options just may "opt out."

(How would folks like to read traffic signs that were inconsistent visually?)


"For what is age but youth's full bloom,
A riper, more transcendent youth" - Oliver Wendell Holmes
 
Posts: 2066 | Location: West Bloomfield MI USA | Registered: June 13, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Poobah
Picture of Mary Jo Disler
posted Hide Post
Jim, Re "Dilbert," sounds like some web designer just wants to show off.

Just because something is possible doesn't mean it adds real practical or artistic value. In the world of the arts, maturity involves knowing "when to quit" so to speak. Beyond a certain point, nothing of value is added - only confusion.

My policy in these elder years has become "Less is more." There's just too much meaningless sensory stimulus these days.


"For what is age but youth's full bloom,
A riper, more transcendent youth" - Oliver Wendell Holmes
 
Posts: 2066 | Location: West Bloomfield MI USA | Registered: June 13, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Jedi Knight
Picture of chris.fx
AIM: Online Status For ChrisMehling123
posted Hide Post
My Mom had the same problem reading high contrast text.
Combined with her farsightedness it was quite a problem.
Sadly, her bank web site one of the worst offenders.
She's not very computer savvy so the simplest solution was the one she chose.

    Two Tips for Vintage eyes.

  • By right clicking on your tool bar for every major web browser it will give you a dropdown menu of some other tools you can add to the tool bar. (See first below) I recommend adding the Text Size button by draging and dropping it onto your tool bar. With this placed there you can click on the large capital A to make the text bigger and more readable. After reading what you need you can click on the smaller A to return the text to the original size if you wish.

  • The other option is to activate the Zoom feature on the Universal Access panel of the System Preferences. There are a few other options you can tinker with by clicking the Options... button. (See second below)


Safari Toolbar Menu & Universal Access panel
 
Posts: 214 | Registered: December 18, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
iBBS Addict
Picture of CHunter
posted Hide Post
Yes Mary Jo,
The interface in Acrobat, to the left, where the thumbnails,
bookmarks, layers, signatures, comments, etc., now uses a
very dark, almost black gray, with white text and icons.
As soon opened it up, I looked for a way to change it back
to the gray color of Acrobat 8. The best I could do was explain, several times,
why I disliked it and put in a feature request to at least be able to modify
it like you can in Bridge and not have it forced upon you.
A lot of the apps are adopting it, I guess they think that this is cool.
Like you, I can't read this type of text, when I look away I still see the
ghosting pattern.
 
Posts: 1613 | Registered: June 16, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Poobah
Picture of Mary Jo Disler
posted Hide Post
Chris - Great ideas. I tried the toolbar suggestion, but Firefox 2 doesn't have the "larger/smaller" text tool. In the View menu, the Text Size item can be used, and/or the keystrokes learned.

Chita - Thank you for the comments.

Maybe we need to get AARP involved (!!)


"For what is age but youth's full bloom,
A riper, more transcendent youth" - Oliver Wendell Holmes
 
Posts: 2066 | Location: West Bloomfield MI USA | Registered: June 13, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Jedi Council Member
posted Hide Post
All of the readability issues, are not a matter of contrast. Black on white always reads the easiest, and any reversed type (white or light color on a dark background is always more difficult to read. This applies to web and print.

On a side note, serif fonts generally read more easily than sans serif. At least for print (web is a different scenario).

No need to attempt to insert a tool in web browsers to enlarge text. Simple keyboard shortcuts. On the Mac - Command + to enlarge and Command - (hypen to reduce). As long as the text is HTML and/or CSS, it will work.
 
Posts: 684 | Registered: February 15, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Poobah
Picture of Mary Jo Disler
posted Hide Post
Mike - Your comments are precisely what Chita & I are talking about. Reversed type IS very difficult to read. Don't know if age has anything to do with it, but having had cataract implants and new glasses, my sight (according to a very recent checkup) is actually very good - nearly 20/20 with glasses.

However, the reversed type design that seems to be trendy these days - print, web, and now apparently even in some software interfaces, is no fun. These people may be "artistic," but need to understand that they are bucking the traditions of writing, script, printing, - and therefore of "readability" - that collectively go back many hundreds of years. Personally I simply won't deal with it, as it's a waste of time & energy.

Thanks Mike and others on this discussion for clarifying and essentially agreeing. - Gives the topic heightened professional confirmation.


"For what is age but youth's full bloom,
A riper, more transcendent youth" - Oliver Wendell Holmes
 
Posts: 2066 | Location: West Bloomfield MI USA | Registered: June 13, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post



Poobah
Picture of Bibo (Jim Nichols)
posted Hide Post
I like the content on http://www.thedigitalbits.com/ but have complained to them in the past about how hard their sight is on the eyes. It burn into my eyes if I view it too long and I see it in reverse on my wall until my eyes readjust!
 
Posts: 2094 | Location: Grand Rapids, MI | Registered: June 10, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Jedi Council Member
posted Hide Post
I thought I'd shared these 2 websites. They are well done, avoid reversed text, and include a ton of great artistic content. Harry Borgman, was an instructor of mine (way back). He certainly is talented and prolific, depicted by the work he has produced over the years. I've worked with Lou MacMurray in the past. Since leaving the business, he has focused his talents on watercolors, as well as unique sculptures. Both are highly talented and diverse. I don't know how much either of them played a part in the design of their websites, but their experience and talents are based on basic foundations that have been honed over the years. Something that young designers and illustrators, that only focus on what the computer can easily generate, don't have. The difference is evident. I hope that you take the time to look at both sites, and enjoy what you see.

http://harryborgman.com/

http://www.loumcmurray.com/
 
Posts: 684 | Registered: February 15, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Poobah
Picture of Bibo (Jim Nichols)
posted Hide Post
One nitpick on the harryborgman.com site MUSIC! That is one of the most annoying things to me. Especially when you are half awake or surfing while people are sleeping. Also annoying if you forgot your volume was up high. Even if your a musician this is annoying. Let me click on your music if I want to hear it.

end rant.
 
Posts: 2094 | Location: Grand Rapids, MI | Registered: June 10, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Genius
Picture of Phyllis Evans
posted Hide Post
This is one of my pet peeves. It doesn't even have to be while everyone else is in bed. I just hate being bombarded with music when I'm not expecting it.
quote:
Originally posted by Bibo:
One nitpick on the harryborgman.com site MUSIC! That is one of the most annoying things to me. Especially when you are half awake or surfing while people are sleeping. Also annoying if you forgot your volume was up high. Even if your a musician this is annoying. Let me click on your music if I want to hear it.

end rant.


"I really need a new tagline"
—P M Evans
 
Posts: 3764 | Location: Redford, MI | Registered: June 10, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Poobah
Picture of Mary Jo Disler
posted Hide Post
Mike - the loumcmurray site is so responsive, especially considering the number of images that load. Nice clean interface. (Did you do the site?)
- Only one suggestion: The complete menu of pages should be on all the image pages. I found it necessary always to backtrack to the home page to go to the various topics (Old Florida, lighthouses, etc.)

I gave up on the harryborgman site, as it was taking forever to load. - And my "Amen" to the folks who don't like music to automatically "appear." VERY annoying. I guess it is a reflection partly of musical taste, and partly of the focus on site content that takes you to a site. That's another type of site that I tend to back out of QUICKLY. (As one who's a music pro, my response to music and all sound is acute and tends to be analytical. It's my "work" - So, personally, I want to reserve the option whether to listen or not.)


"For what is age but youth's full bloom,
A riper, more transcendent youth" - Oliver Wendell Holmes
 
Posts: 2066 | Location: West Bloomfield MI USA | Registered: June 13, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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