Beyond the Pale

I’ve started a private war on web pages and blogs with white / pale text on black / dark backgrounds. I’m sure the temporary blindness you get from jumping back to a ‘normal’ web page (i.e. one with a light background) is not healthy. Most times I come across one, I click straight out again, no matter how good the content is. I’d like a browser that forewarns me when I’m opening such a page, or better still one that automatically inverts the colours (wouldn’t that be cool!). In the right context, ‘light-on-dark’ design can be great – particularly on visual sites with little text – but in most cases, it is used indiscriminately and unnecessarily. Unless you’re a goth, I can’t think of many reasons why you should even consider it – it’s not good design, it does not promote web accessibility, and it’s not good for my health.

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3 Responses to “Beyond the Pale”

  1. OS Says:

    I highly recommend the ZAP bookmarklet found here: however, there are a fair few scripts around including ones that will fix the internet in whatever colours and font size you require:

    In your war however, you may have found an arch nemesis or perhaps I may just have an undiagnosed problem, but i find light text on dark pages easier to read and am more likely to spend time on them.

    on a side note, i feel that a one must always exercise choice when creating something with any form of machine, rather than using its default settings. The unconscious usage of predefined settings is a crime that happens too often, even if there is good reason for the preset.

    Furthermore, white backgrounds are apparently bad for the environment.

  2. Andy Coverdale Says:

    Thanks for the links – any technology that claims to ‘zap’ has to be worth a try. I guess if most sites had black backgrounds, I’d be moaning about black on white sites – maybe negotiating the temporary blindness is good exercise for my eye muscles.

  3. Andy Coverdale Says:

    I’ve recently discovered Readability – an ace tool for banishing those pesky white on black sites into pure Andy-friendly pages! Comes with an easy to use bookmarklet and lots of options. Rant over.

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