Re: Colors On Web Pages

  • From: "Bryan Garaventa" <bgaraventa11@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <programmingblind@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 30 Oct 2007 18:07:49 -0700

You could use CSS to accomplish this, or surround each with a Div or Span

I believe the syntax is:
style="background-color: #xxxxxx"
But doing a search for "CSS manual" can identify this more clearly.

I'm not sure if you can use the actual color names within CSS though, so if
you want the literal HEX values for all 548 available colors, the color
picker at will do this.

Best wishes,


----- Original Message ----- From: "Alex Parks" <mehgcap@xxxxxxx>
To: <programmingblind@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Tuesday, October 30, 2007 5:30 PM
Subject: Re: Colors On Web Pages

This is getting into coding, but how do you make sections different
colors? I have a blog I keep online (not through a site--I wrote the code
and all and use js files to insert most of it, so I can play with this
sort of thing).  I have the blog, a contact form, and a misc section.  How
can I give each section its own bgcolor? Thanks for the help.

Have a great day,

----- Original Message -----
From: "Will Pearson" <will@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
To: <programmingblind@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Date sent: Wed, 31 Oct 2007 00:11:50 -0000
Subject: Re: Colors On Web Pages


I don't think that there are any generic rules for colour choice
that fit
all purposes.  The best thing to do is to base the design of
something on
how you expect people to interact with it and how those people

I agree that black on white is a reasonable choice for reading
however, if people are going to be looking at something for a
long time then
pure white, which can be very bright, can cause a lot of glare
and actually
reduce reading ease.  So, using something just off white might be
appropriate if someone is expected to look at something for a

If ease of navigation around the screen is a priority then I
would actually
encourage blocks of colour.  For example, having the background
for a menu
one colour, the background for the main content another colour,
and so on.
Unifying content to form a perceptual block by giving the content
the same
background colour will enable someone to shift their attention to
block of content faster and easier.  There is research evidence
that people
shift their attention based on perceptual groups.

So, I would say that you need to choose colours based on the task
someone is performing and how you expect them to perform that
task.  You'll
probably get an artist saying different but then it's still an
open question
as to whether form or function has greater importance.  I guess
I'm pretty
biased in favour of function given I'm a human factors
researcher, and I
spend most of my days thinking about how to make novel user
easier to use.

----- Original Message -----
From: <james.homme@xxxxxxxxxxxx
To: <programmingblind@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Sent: Tuesday, October 30, 2007 1:25 PM
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
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
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)
white with black text.
Of course, there are beautiful and easy-to-read sites that use a
colored backgrounds, text, and images.  But, that is not
something that
sighted people can achieve.  Typically, to do
a good job with visual design, you need an artist or graphic
That's my 2 cents!

The first thing to ask is what kind of website are you trying to
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
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
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
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
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
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
with black text if it is a light but not too bright yellow
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
means no light can pass through.  A black background can be used
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
also understand black in the way that it works in the sense of a
monitor.  All televisions and monitors work off of the same
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
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
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