June 13, 2006

Poll: Is My Color Scheme Too Hard to Read?

I like my color scheme. It looks like an old computer terminal, which I think is kind of neat. I can read it fine, myself. However, since I posted the the Philosophers' Carnival here yesterday, I've had two different people (Clark at Mormon Metaphysics in his post linking to the carnival, and play_jurist, commenting on the carnival itself) comment that the text is too difficult to read. So, what I want to know is, how many people think the blog in its current format is hard to read? If a lot of people do, I'd like to get a feel for whether it varies by person, or by platform/browser (perhaps it looks different in some browsers and is harder to read - if so, I might be able to fix it without abandoning the color scheme altogether). So if everyone could let me know in the comments here whether you find this blog difficult to read in its present green-on-black format, and what browser and operating system you use, it would be much appreciated. Thanks.

PS: Perhaps people would also like to tell me whether they are over or under the age of 25, so we can see whether I've perhaps discovered a visual equivalent to the mosquito ringtone! (Only sort of joking about that...)

Posted by Kenny at June 13, 2006 4:55 PM
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Comments

I think your color scheme is fine.

Posted by: Lauren at June 13, 2006 5:13 PM

I think it's a platform/browser thing. It's fine from my Firefox PC, but I did find it a strain using Safari in the Mac labs the other day.

Perhaps you could build a "zap" script/link into your template? Then anyone could just click that if they want to turn it into plain black-on-white text.

Posted by: Richard at June 13, 2006 8:06 PM

Hmm... I use Safari on a powerbook most of the time, but I also occasionally use Firefox on Windows and Galleon on Linux (which is based on Gecko, the Mozilla rendering engine, and so will come out the same as Firefox except for fonts), but I also don't use the default fonts on Safari because they didn't work as well for displaying Unicode Greek at Perseus. Maybe I should specify in my CSS to look for the fonts I'm using if they are there.

I'll look into the zap script, thanks for the suggestion.

Posted by: Kenny at June 13, 2006 9:34 PM

I can read it fine, but I would prefer a different text color and background, something more soothing to my eyes. But then I am not your regular visitor (first time being here actually), so�

Posted by: Soo at June 13, 2006 10:53 PM

The green is a little thin, so I have to creep in a little closer to read it easily (42 years old). Uniqueness has a value too, though.

Posted by: codepoke at June 14, 2006 7:34 AM

I'd say that it's difficult to read. When I showed up for the Philosophers' Carnival I even tried highlighting all of the text to see if that would make it easier to read (it didn't). It wasn't as bad once I got into it, but still I'd recommend a change. (Firefox, and young enough to hear the tone)

Posted by: Blar at June 14, 2006 9:47 PM

Little too 'Star Trek' for my taste, but OK. For reading over a longer period, I'd prefer a lighter colour.

Posted by: Chris Tilling at June 15, 2006 4:38 AM

It's a bit hard to read.

1) I spend all day looking at a computer, and my eyes hurt anyway.

2) The black background causes my eyes to adjust to darkness; white text boxes and the bright green font hurt a bit more with a black background than they do with white.

So,

1) You could decrease contrast. I played around with some slightly duller green fonts on black backgrounds, and they were easier to read.

2) If you completely switch the color scheme (or add a zap button), I think the next-most appropiate scheme for your blog would create the impression of a primitive printing press, or maybe even parchment. Perhaps an old-style font with serifs on a yellowed or ivory background.

Posted by: pferree at June 15, 2006 4:21 PM

People said the same thing to me when I had yellow text on a black background. I didn't understand it myself, but I do think now that I have black on white that it's easier to read. I definitely didn't at the time. I thought it both looked better and was easier to read.

Posted by: Jeremy Pierce at June 15, 2006 10:08 PM

I think it's fun, but it is less easy on the eyes than the standard vanilla.

Posted by: Brandon at June 16, 2006 10:50 AM

It is hard - then again my eyesight is pretty bad...

Posted by: GeniusNZ at June 16, 2006 3:26 PM

Its a bit rough on the eyes... you could always have an alternate style sheet specified with different colors and allow users with supporting browsers (i.e. Firefox, accessed through the view->page style menu) to change it for themselves.

Theres a discussion here of setting alternate stylesheets as well as a method using JS/DOM:

http://www.alistapart.com/stories/alternate/

Here is an example if you want to see what its like to change the stylesheet via the view menu in firefox:

http://www.damowmow.com/indexes/multiple.html

Posted by: Rod at June 23, 2006 4:15 PM

Rod - yeah, I had thought about that. It's pretty easy to switch stylesheets with javascript, I think.

Posted by: Kenny at June 23, 2006 5:19 PM

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