— 26 August 2004 —
I received a comment on one of my not-so-recent posts about the new look of this site.
A. Nonny Mouse writes…
It seems terribly ironic that a web page devoted to usability would select a background color so dark that most users cannot read the text…
Perhaps you previewed this page on some platform other than Wintel? Take a look at what IE V6 displays: Faint hen scratches on dark brown mud. :-(
“Most users.” Gotta love it. Isn’t a large part of one’s ability to discern color contrasts left up to the type of monitor one has? That’s not a totally rhetorical question.
I have viewed this site on a Mac (on both a desktop and laptop) with Safari, IE 5.?*, Mozilla v.?*, Firefox 0.93, and Opera 7. I viewed it on an IBM laptop with IE for XP, and that laptop has been connected to a 21″ monitor as well. On all these platforms, browsers, and monitors I have been able to view everything just fine. (With the exception of that damn white line that floats at the top of the main page only in IE for XP.) I don’t have access to anything else.
If the contrast isn’t good enough for you, let me know. This is, after all an iterative process. I chose these colors because I like them. I can read it just fine. I realize that the previous sentence is the same as, “works on my machine,” but I only have me to rely upon. I don’t usability test my site, so I have to rely on the feedback of others.
Now, I may write about usability, but the design of this blog was all about design, and very little about usability. It takes me a good couple of weeks to work through a design. Partly because I really can’t see how things will look without having it live (because of the Typepad code).
Anyway, this isn’t software that is being produced for users. This is a blog. If I really wanted to follow total usability “rules” I would have a white background with black text and I don’t feel like doing that.
Thanks for the comment, O person who doesn’t wish to be known. I know that reads sarcastic, but I do appreciate the feedback. In fact, I love getting people’s feedback on this site. However, I don’t think enough people actually come to the site to allow for much feedback at all. I know a lot of people read my posts through feed readers, so the design probably doesn’t matter to them.
*I cannot recall the versions right now.