Re: Colors On Web Pages

  • From: "John Greer" <jpgreer17@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <programmingblind@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 30 Oct 2007 11:34:00 -0500

But in the case of the original poster, his sighted visitors wanted to see a bit of formatting and color on the website instead of the standard blindy website design of no frame sets, centering etc. That is also why I said, "It depends on what kind of website you want to make". It would be nice to hear of a few more blindy websites that are a bit more design oriented than just the standard that we have all come to know. Nice job by the way on blind by the way and Inthane's site is looking better too. One of the things that my flood of answers refers to is exactly what this other person has said. There will be times when blind people will want to create a site where there is a navigation frame on the left and the background of the frame is in light blue for example. How is a blind person that has never seen color before going to know what text color would be most visible on a blue background. My later emails with the links to contrasts etc. are a step to help them with that. I was not trying to say that the blind web designers need to start putting the entire rainbow of colors on their websites. But I was saying that if they want a wider sighted audience to enjoy their site, they need to break away from the standard heading, write some text put another heading then an excrutiatingly long list of links with descriptions. It would be nice to see some of the pages like that at least have a navigation frame with categories, home, games, scripts etc. etc. That in fact is not only better for the sighted design side but also is better for the blind comunity too because then they are not having to press insert f7 and then arrowing down for a day and a half to find a link they are looking for. My 3 cents, grin.

JohnPG search for all of your Jaws scripts at
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Administrator: John Greer
----- Original Message ----- From: <james.homme@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
To: <programmingblind@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Tuesday, October 30, 2007 8:25 AM
Subject: Re: Colors On Web Pages

I ran this by a usability person here. Her comments are above the original

I would say it's an accurate description of the meaning and mood of the
colors he describes.
But I don't really agree with the advice of using colored text or a colored
background for Web site design. From a usability perspective, the high
contrast of black text on a white background is the
best choice. Most sites use color in images, borders, and for some headings
and link text - but typically the main content of the page is black on
white. Another choice is to have a background
color on the sides, and a center section (about 2/3 of the page) that's
white with black text.
Of course, there are beautiful and easy-to-read sites that use a variety of colored backgrounds, text, and images. But, that is not something that most
sighted people can achieve. Typically, to do
a good job with visual design, you need an artist or graphic designer.
That's my 2 cents!

The first thing to ask is what kind of website are you trying to make.
kind of website you are trying to put out to the people needs to be a
determining factor because you wouldn't want a banking website to have a
background with brite green text.  Why you might ask?  Because when people
are visiting a banking website a rule of advertising for them is they want
to come across as secure and stable.  So for that most of them will just
the standard black text on a white background.  I am going to try to help
associating a color with a mood and see if that helps.
red= A color that is for fun things, like a clown's red nose, a red ball.
blue = the color of the sky or ocean. Think of how you feel when you visit
either but keep in mind that when in the water although sighted people can
see underwater it is a bit hard to see unless you have a mask.
green = an earthen color, the color of grass, trees etc.  Green text
doesn't work unless you have a dark dark background color.  Also for mixed
colors like green, blue and yellow make green, it is always a good idea not
to use either color that make up a certain color with the color that they
make.  For example you would not want to have green text on a yellow
background.  That would make things a bit hard to see.  You could however
have yellow text on a blue background.  Why you might ask?  Because it is
also another rule of thumb to have either a dark color as a background and
light color as text or vice versa.
Yellow = it is the color of the sun, many times it can be very bright,
times rather soothing to the eyes again depending on the time of day, and
its background. You can use yellow as a background color quite effectively with black text if it is a light but not too bright yellow background. Why
you might ask, just associate yellow as day and black as night.  So yes,
yellow text on a black background will also work.
black= well for some of us black is probably pretty self explanatory.
means no light can pass through.  A black background can be used if
contrasted with a bright color such as yellow, green, red, orange.  To
understand black you have to also understand the mood associated with it.
To some black is scary, to some black is also a mysterious color. You must
also understand black in the way that it works in the sense of a computer
monitor.  All televisions and monitors work off of the same principal.
There are 3 colors that can make every color that is visible on a screen.
Red, green and blue.  The description of how the aliens could see in HG
Wells' War of the Worlds still amazes me considering when the book was
actually written.  Basically what you have with red green and blue are
colors that can make any other color when mixed together with varying
brightnesses.  Now back to the black, black on a computer monitor is
produced when you drop the brightness of all three colors down to zero.


James D Homme, , Usability Engineering, Highmark Inc.,
james.homme@xxxxxxxxxxxx, 412-544-1810

"Never doubt that a thoughtful group of committed citizens can change the
world.  Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." -- Margaret Mead

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