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  1. #101
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    Actually, according to the article you've cited in your argument, in order to save the planet we should all be using black pages with some sort of coloured text which leads us to a new era I like to call 1996
    Andrew Wasson | www.lunadesign.org
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  2. #102
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrMr View Post
    Sure, I'll use solar. Just send me the $45K quoted for the system and the $35K for permits, inspections, and improvement taxes.

    Certified bank draft, please.

    Meanwhile, small, easy steps...

    Think globally, act on your local CSS!
    Really 45k + 35k in permits... You need to either downsize the mansion or move from where you are to somewhere more reasonable.... I've been quoted less that $20k for a 2500 ft sq house for panels, charging system, batteries, etc... and permits for a couple of thousand with green government kickbacks.
    Andrew Wasson | www.lunadesign.org
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  3. #103
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    Quote Originally Posted by awasson View Post
    Actually, according to the article you've cited in your argument, in order to save the planet we should all be using black pages with some sort of coloured text which leads us to a new era I like to call 1996
    And yet, you won't even take a small step -- that costs nothing -- to help out, falling back to the scoundrel's oldest excuse, "The full solution is {fill in the blank}, so I will not even do a partial solution".

    No wonder we are all doomed.

  4. #104
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    ^ I'm not sure what you typed in there... I've turned my monitor off

    Actually I found another article that found no difference in black or white for LCD and a bunch of critics claiming that monitors under 24" use less wattage to show a white screen than black on LCD.... This makes sense as LCD's have backlighting always on full strength and more current is required to align the crystals to show black than to show colours or white. I don't have a power meter for my line so I can't check it but it could be that white is better for the environment on LCD!!
    Andrew Wasson | www.lunadesign.org
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  5. #105
    SitePoint Member Joreel's Avatar
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    I think its more pleasing to the eye. Black a bit stronger.
    Joreel's Blog on http://emag.joreeldiaz.com

  6. #106
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    @MrMr: Using the energy saving argument, shouldn't we use a black background (and, probably, grey text)?
    Birnam wood is come to Dunsinane

  7. #107
    Hibernator YuriKolovsky's Avatar
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    im pretty sure it doesn't matter for LCD's
    they have a back light, and a electrical current to move crystals, i actually heard that lcd screens use more current for black than white.
    when OLED's become mainstream, then this will become at least a little bit more realistic.


    and when they do, i will make a website that has black text on a black background, and im sure that the 1 or 2 visitors per year that will use less electricity will save the world!

    p.s. seriously global warming sounds like a joke, but its a serious thing.
    and to those who don't realize how serious it is, imagine that global warming comes to its limit, then we will get a permanent global climate change, no more happy weather for thousands of years...

    edit:and as a side note, did you notice that most commercial or business related websites are mainly white with black/grey text, while most entertainment websites are black with white/gray text? (with exceptions obviously)

    edit: hehe, the topics subject is fading away.


    ah yea, people buy OLED screens, they are energy efficient and awesome and expensive.

  8. #108
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    Thats the question,

    But anyway i think that this is because of the sevirity the page shows using such colors,
    Webmasters and Bloggers improve your web traffic get Web Stats

  9. #109
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    Quote Originally Posted by wre2wre View Post
    Thats the question,

    But anyway i think that this is because of the sevirity the page shows using such colors,
    Say what?
    Birnam wood is come to Dunsinane

  10. #110
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tailslide View Post
    Black text on white background is generally considered to be too high a contrast and hard on the eyes. A very dark grey on white is easier to read.

    If you had a slightly darker background then black might be more appropriate. It's not specifically the use of black - it's the contrast between the text colour and the background colour that's the issue.
    Yeah i would agree with the point that you have made
    certainly the black color does has an effect and has a higher
    contrast as compared to Grey do this could be a valid reason for using
    Grey instead of black......

  11. #111
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    Quote Originally Posted by awasson View Post
    Actually I found another article that found no difference in black or white for LCD...
    Oh really? Where? I don't see a link or any reference.


    Quote Originally Posted by YuriKolovsky
    Im pretty sure it doesn't matter for LCD's
    they have a back light, and a electrical current to move crystals, i actually heard that lcd screens use more current for black than white.
    Prove it. So far the only reference to actual tests say that LCD's do use more power displaying white.


    Quote Originally Posted by AutisticCuckoo
    @MrMr: Using the energy saving argument, shouldn't we use a black background (and, probably, grey text)?
    Yes, exactly right -- and the article I referenced advocated for something like that. But, even if you don't care enough about your grandkids to use a black background, you still can save some by using black text or black on gray.


    Anywho, I think we have beat this topic to death.

    If anyone discovers any actual scientific evidence, supporting gray on white, please post a link. Otherwise, this thread has just turned into an opinion poll (and we all know the story about opinions).

  12. #112
    Hibernator YuriKolovsky's Avatar
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    Prove it. So far the only reference to actual tests say that LCD's do use more power displaying white.
    yeah yeah, good for you.

    anyway, i think that power should be saved where it needs saving, because if we remove white completely from our arsenal of colors, wouldn't we be moving backwards in technological advancement? and doing the opposite of what were supposed to do?
    as a extreme example, we could all go live in a cave, and walk to work instead of driving, you just need to convince the car manufacturers to stop making cars, and the builders to stop building houses.

    you don't need thousands of dollars to be environmentally clean.

    and this whole topic your probably talking about blackie google?
    here (sorry but its in spanish) it shows people that tested google blackie and discovered that viewsonic lcd monitors used more electricity while compaq lcd used less.
    while none of the monitors showed the promised 15watts in energy saved.

    and heres another blog, yay


    so what if i make 1px on my white website black?
    i will save electricity, i will be a hero.

    my final opinion, no, websites should be made to be exactly they way the designer intended to, no more, no less.
    white should be used with slight off black, black should be used with slight off white.
    and the designers that want to have a huge amount of traffic from hard core environmentalists, should make their websites as black as possible.

    Otherwise, this thread has just turned into an opinion poll (and we all know the story about opinions).
    wasn't this thread originally a opinion poll about gray text?

  13. #113
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    Quote Originally Posted by YuriKolovsky View Post
    yeah yeah, good for you.

    anyway, i think that power should be saved where it needs saving, because if we remove white completely from our arsenal of colors, wouldn't we be moving backwards in technological advancement? and doing the opposite of what were supposed to do?
    as a extreme example, we could all go live in a cave, and walk to work instead of driving, you just need to convince the car manufacturers to stop making cars, and the builders to stop building houses.

    you don't need thousands of dollars to be environmentally clean.

    and this whole topic your probably talking about blackie google?


    wasn't this thread originally a opinion poll about gray text?

    Wow! Count em -- six logical fallacies. Kudos to the first one to enumerate them all.

    No, this thread was never an opinion poll. I would have made an actual poll for that. I wanted studies and sound reasons why some "designers" were "moving backwards in technological advancement" by reversing a 2500 year contrast-trend to make things *less* readable.

    The result was: no studies, no scientific data whatsoever that supports gray text, only one semi-plausible rational (still not backed by science), and the personal opinions of some of the perpetrators of this practice.
    Study "Information cascade" and then revisit this thread.

  14. #114
    Hibernator YuriKolovsky's Avatar
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    you definitely made it look like a opinions thread.

    Wow! Count em -- six logical fallacies. Kudos to the first one to enumerate them all.
    going personal eh?
    my logic is not bad, its not the same as yours.

    edit:
    still not backed by science
    well you shouldn't believe everything that "science" says, its been wrong before.
    opinions can still be useful, this way you can see into the people heads, and understand everything a little better.

    The result was: no studies, no scientific data whatsoever that supports gray text, only one semi-plausible rational (still not backed by science), and the personal opinions of some of the perpetrators of this practice.
    Study "Information cascade" and then revisit this thread.
    this is the result of your thread.

    edit: its not too late to try and explain it a little better.

    p.s. there was never a 2500 year contrast-trend

  15. #115
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    I personally that feel black over white background matching is not that eye friendly contrast as compared to gray over white.

  16. #116
    Hibernator YuriKolovsky's Avatar
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    I personally that feel black over white background matching is not that eye friendly contrast as compared to gray over white.
    i will agree.

  17. #117
    SitePoint Zealot PatrickSamphire's Avatar
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    MrMr, you are demanding scientific studies to prove that slightly reduced contrast is more accessible than black on white. I am not aware of any such studies. Likewise, I'm not aware of any studies that prove that black on white is more accessible. However, I am impressed by your skills at argument. You are using the old trick of demanding that your opponents are the ones who must provide evidence so that you don't have to.

    The truth is, you're the one who thinks there is a problem and it is therefore down to you to demonstrate the problem. Otherwise, I could make up any ridiculous argument and claim that, unless you prove otherwise, my argument stands. That is not scientific. That is ridiculous. (And, yes, I do understand scientific method, having a PhD in theoretical physics.)

    Nonetheless, it may well be true that for many users black on white is actually more accessible. It certainly isn't for all users. For example, I work in a University, and I have been discussing redeveloping the website of the disabilities studies unit. One of the first points they made to me was that, for their users, black on white was simply not an option. They know their users and the disabilities that their users have, and thus they are looking for an option that is optimally good for their users. I have no idea what research they have based their opinion on, but I certainly don't assume I know better.

    Likewise, I am also developing a website for my wife (who is a writer of teen fiction). Her users, I am assuming, will generally be young and thus have better-than-average vision. I have no problem, then, in using lower contrast in places than I might otherwise use. (Okay, this is a side project, not one I'm being paid for, so I am not carrying out the market research I otherwise would, so I could be wrong.)

    The general point, though, is to know your audience, where you can, and see what is most accessible and most usable for them. You can't come up with a single solution that matches the accessibility needs of all users. You have to target your users.

    That's why sitepoint has probably made the right decision with the dark grey on white for the forums. Most of the people posting on this forum find it more kind to the eye, and these represent the users of sitepoint forums who are interested enough to comment on the matter. It may not be market research or accessibility testing of the users, but it is indicative, within certain parameters.

    If you think your users prefer black on white (and, no doubt, you have carried out extensive scientific testing to establish that), then that's the choice you should use. Assuming that you've balanced it with the other considerations you'll be taking into account as a designer.

  18. #118
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    Seems to me its like fashion design, there has to be some way of showing the latest newest trends. Not all trends are meant to stick around and some are.

    Some sites the gray text is high contrast and large enough to be readable. But I seem to find most sites have low contrast gray with smaller text, as if the designer wants to have the information on the page, but wants the general surfer to not notice the information or links.

  19. #119
    Hibernator YuriKolovsky's Avatar
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    ok, MrMr
    so let me rephrase your question:
    why do some many websites use gray text on a white background if it is hard to read it and contributes to global warming?

    the first part, it is not hard to read in most of the cases of grey text on white background, in cases where it is hard to read, i would say is the designers mistake in overestimating the visitors "eyes"

    the second part (energy saving one),
    ill try to explain it like this.

    why are we trying to save electricity in the first place?
    -so that power plants would produce less pollution

    so our aim is not to reduce energy use, but to reduce the level pollution produced.

    because most power plants produce electricity in a specific range, this means that even though we will use less electricity the power plants will still produce the same amount of pollution.
    additionally if we do successfully reduce the amount of watts used by all the screens, the power plants will suddenly have a slight less amount of energy used, they will put the price of electricity slightly lower (or will sell the extra electricity somewhere else).
    thus making more people use more electrical contraptions instead of looking at their screens, in every scenario the pollution will continue.

    so unless this strange contraption works, humans will continue polluting.

    now you may ask, why do people do it then?
    why do people make environmental black websites including google blackie?
    well if you read carefully you will see that none of them say that they reduce pollution, all of them say that they reduce energy usage, which is not the same thing.
    but this way they get a clan of hard core environmentalist fans as their constant visitors, and a constant source of income.
    imagine, make a website black, and add a "environmental" tag, and you instantly get more returning visitors.

    so the designers that are not interested in this subject, will prefer to make their websites as user friendly as possible, including using gray text on a white background.

    now don't get me wrong MrMr, i love clean air more than anyone, i stay away from large cities, and contribute to clean energy as much as i can, i simply think that this is not the best angle to tackle the problem.

    was this any better of an answer? or do i need to try again?

  20. #120
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    Quote Originally Posted by PatrickSamphire View Post
    MrMr, ...

    You are using the old trick of demanding that your opponents are the ones who must provide evidence so that you don't have to.
    Exactly...

    Furthermore MrMr, we have provided you the reasons why designers looking to provide better accessibility through smoother contrast have used an off black on white yet you refuse to believe it, now linking it to some global warming conspiracy. You're amusing but it's getting a little like a busted old record repeating itself over and over.

    You asked for opinion and you got it.
    Can somebody please explain why so many sites are making their text harder to read?

    A lot of sites are using gray-on-white or gray-on-gray text -- including this one!

    Is there some backroom deal with eyedrop vendors? Why are designers doing this?

    Google shows plenty of others complaining about this and writing Greasemonkey scripts, but I missed the memo justifying this (appalling) practice.

    If you have a site with gray text, please explain why it's better than black text.
    As far as Blackle goes... I believe that it is invalid for LCD's as they operate a little differently and according to the physics or running a current through a crystal array to twist them shut out the light, a black screen should require more power as substantiated by some of the links below

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blackle.com#Criticism

    http://blogs.msdn.com/dthorpe/archiv...cost-less.aspx

    Wall street Journal Quote: “We found that the color on screen mattered very little to the energy color consumption of the LCD monitor,” said David Korn, principal at Cadmus, which specializes in energy and environment, and does work for the government. The changes were so slight as to be within the margin of error for the power meter.

    Link: http://blogs.wsj.com/numbersguy/does...ectricity-104/

    * This interesting a study of plasma against LCD and if you scroll down you'll note that on the LCD's a white screen uses less wattage (and it should.... LCD use a constant light source and black requires more power to twist the pixels shut) Link: http://www.g4techtv.ca/callforhelp/s....shtml?regular
    Andrew Wasson | www.lunadesign.org
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  21. #121
    Non-Member Musicbox's Avatar
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    who says grey is nice, color black is default color of most of the websites. Only if you intend to design something different in your layout and give that section grey text color then it will look good otherwise its off the color.

  22. #122
    SitePoint Zealot PatrickSamphire's Avatar
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    The more I think about this, the more I realise that there is no easy way to test this proposition 'scientifically' in a way that would produce any meaningful results.

    Let's start by dismissing the idea that print media has any relevance to the discussion. It's already been pointed out that screens are back-lit and paper is not. Add to that the fact that not even the best paper is absolutely white and not even the best ink is absolutely black. Then you need to consider light sources. Paper will show a different colour, depending on the light source under which you are viewing it.

    For example, a traditional filament bulb has a yellowish tinge to the light, whereas a fluorescent strip has a much harsher, apparently-whiter light. Sunlight, on the other hand, has its greatest intensity in about the green part of the spectrum. However, that's not necessarily what you see outside, as light is reflected from many different surfaces, each of which reflects parts of the spectrum differently. So, depending on your light source, you will see a different tinge to the 'white' paper.

    The light from paper is also generally less intense, in an environment where it is normally read, than a screen. To see how readable 'white' paper is, take a printed sheet out into the bright sunlight and see how readable it is then.

    Finally, add the difference in resolution of a screen and paper.

    When you put in all those factors, it's clear that paper and screens are completely different media, and attempting to extrapolate from paper to screens is an incorrect approach.

    So, if we remove print from the equation, we're left with asking why black on white should be considered the default and the best for reading on a screen.

    I can't see any reason, other than ease, possibly deriving from a history of much simpler displays, why black on white should by necessity the default.

    If you were to investigate the whole issue of contrast scientifically, you would have to dispense with this default position and investigate something along the lines of 'what degree of contrast is optimal for reading on a screen?'

    Except that that isn't sufficient. You would also have to define what you meant by optimal. You would have to investigate these questions: Is there an optimal contrast at all? Is contrast the main factor in ease of reading? Is it a relevant factor by itself, or must it be coupled with other factors? (For example, I think almost anyone would agree that black-on-white is far easier to read that white-on-black, even though the amount of contrast is identical. I have my own, unproven, untested, theory that this is because a black background causes the eyes to dilate, making the white more intense on the retinas.) You would have to add in the fact that different monitors have different brightnesses and different light spectra, and that what is defined as 'white' (#FFFFFF) is not in fact perfect white on any monitor. You would then want to look at different audiences for different websites and ask 'optimal for whom?'

    To carry out any meaningful test, you would need to identify a statistically-significant number of the users of a particular website (as different websites have different audiences with different needs) and carry out some carefully-controlled tests using the users' own screens. The real problem would come in eliminating other factors (the black-on-white versus white-on-black problem, for example, wherein you would get results that were impossible to interpret if you only looked at contrast) and defining optimal (because that depends on what the aim of the site is. For example, a text heavy site like sitepoint will have a different optimum to a photographer's site where the eye is to be drawn to the images, not the text).

    Finally, you would not be able to take the results from this test and apply it to any other website, because you would not have the same optimum and the same audience.

    In other words, there has been no meaningful scientific testing of this, because there really isn't any scientifically-meaningful problem to be investigated. The best we can hope for is website-specific usability testing, which is what goes on anyway.

    Finally (because this post is getting way too long) MrMr keeps saying things like "No, it was a rant and an honest question -- which has now been answered, pending proper science." Actually, it hasn't been answered at all. It has simply not been tested. The fact that it hasn't been tested doesn't make your proposition (that black on white is easier to read) correct. It makes it untested. You *might* be right. You *might* be wrong. To assume that because something is untested you are correct is scientific nonsense.

  23. #123
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    ^ Well said
    Andrew Wasson | www.lunadesign.org
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    Hibernator YuriKolovsky's Avatar
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    @PatrickSamphire
    you beat me to that. i was about to explain the same thing about paper and screens.
    and to point out one thing that i specifically paid attention at.
    what degree of contrast is optimal for reading on a screen?
    i agree that there is no such thing.
    some people have better eyes than others, and some spend more time reading on screens than others.
    so maybe this is more appropriate?
    what degree of contrast is optimal for reading on a screen for the average public visiting your website?
    and a tip:
    what looks correct should be the defining factor, and not what is correct.
    especially in design.

    @most people
    don't be so harsh on MrMr, were here to help, not criticize.

  25. #125
    SitePoint Wizard Stomme poes's Avatar
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    I remember seeing a site someone had made and had problems with, a photographer's site which was black with purple text. On my aging monitor I really couldn't hardly see that there even was text. That screen was dying anyway though and I knew that. This was on an old laptop who's now currently being used as a server : )

    Looking at the site here from home on hubby's large, then brand-new monitor made a huge difference-- the purple stood out very well and no wonder the guy who'd designed the site didn't really know what some of us were talking about, saying the text was unreadable. It certainly looked like enough (if not ideal) contrast-- on the newer monitor. It was also pretty difficult to see on the CRT at work, which isn't in bad shape at all but just works differently.

    My current screen on my newer laptop has wonderful contrast. To get a quick check on a dark page on a bad screen, I unplug and let Ubuntu dim the screen to save battery power. It seems to be less than half the brightness of normal, and while dark text on light backgrounds survive, other way around seems to suffer greatly.

    As MrMr has pointed out, whether a page is readable is pretty dependent on the user, not only their eyes and brains but their hardware as well-- and don't forget the old public machines running out there at schools, libraries, hospitals, etc, or those silly tiny screens on mobiles people seem intent on internet surfing with (I can't hardly see anything on those little screens but I guess the kids have better eyes...)


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