Re: colors and backgrounds for web pages

  • From: "John Greer" <jpgreer17@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <programmingblind@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 29 Oct 2007 18:37:12 -0500

Agreed, the problem here is as I have said there is no one set in stone method 
of choosing colors.  I believe a misconception of css is that because it is put 
into a style sheet that it is automatically a good choice if designed by a 
sighted person.  What a style sheet is is a way for a website to have the same 
look throughout the website design.  It is also used by screen readers as a 
standard that they can check to get the layout of the page.  It cannot however 
tell you whether or not the colors chosen on a website are the correct ones to 
appeal to a wider audience.  An example of what I mean is, there are also 
websites that have a static background image.  Meaning that the picture of the 
deer they have as a background picture does not scroll as a person is scrolling 
through the text on the page.  The text however does.  This in effect will 
cause the text to sometimes be on a brown backing, or a red backing, or even a 
white backing.  Because that reindeer picture does not move the person 
designing the website has to make a good choice as far as text color so that it 
is still readable in contrast to the picture used in the background.  Although 
it can be said that black text would work, the person also has to keep in mind, 
is the text size too small if I scroll it here or there thus making it hard to 
read?  Yep there are times when even a person with perfect 20 20 vision can't 
read a website simply because of the layout of a page.  Much of the final 
design on a website has to rely on user feedback.  Is the site boring?  Is the 
site to hard to look at for long periods of time?  I am sorry to say there is 
no magic mathematical formula to tell you what will appeal to sighted users.  
For that you do have to just rely on your user feedback.  Yahoo for instance 
with it's first design was fairly similar to google in its layout.  It had its 
logo with a few links on the main page.  But as customer interest dropped they 
redesigned their website to make it more visually appealing to the users they 
had giving them feedback.  It of course did not appeal to everyone, me for 
instance.  I feel now that Yahoo has become far to cluttered in its design and 
it now takes away from its actual purpose, to be a search engine.  Now even 
visually you have to search around the page just to find the edit box to type 
in a search.
JohnPG search for all of your Jaws scripts at
Also be sure to check out Blind Crawler's Legend of the Green Dragon server at
There will be more to come from Blind Crawler very soon.
Administrator: John Greer
  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: tribble 
  To: programmingblind@xxxxxxxxxxxxx 
  Sent: Monday, October 29, 2007 6:05 PM
  Subject: Re: colors and backgrounds for web pages

  Hi Dusty -- Well it is a novel approach, but it might be hard to draw 
subjective information from a survey of style sheets on the net -- for example, 
suppose a Christmas site contains a background image of raindeer on a snowy 
landscape with bits of red and green to add color.  Well, raindeer are light 
brown and snow is white, so would the search engine conclude that white and 
brown, the predominant colors, are Christmas colors?
  Anyway, just a thought -- Perhaps I should go to your site and read what you 
  Anyway, happy hacking.

    ----- Original Message ----- 
    From: dusty bray 
    To: programmingblind@xxxxxxxxxxxxx 
    Sent: Monday, October 29, 2007 5:06 PM
    Subject: RE: colors and backgrounds for web pages

    Ya know, this is a another problem i've been wanting to address for a 
while.  Like Laura suggested, i believe CSS is the answer.  The only problem is 
selecting the correct CSS for the right mood / occasion.

    i think i wrote about this plan on my website, and i'm curious if this 
method would help:  First, a Web crawler could scour the Internet for as many 
style-sheets as it can find.  Then a program could use some basic machine 
learning to categorize them.  The algorithm might even consider the content of 
the pages which use the CSS.  For instance, the language of a Web page could be 
given a rating between "casual" and "professional".  If certain color 
combinations are used more frequently, we can assume these schemes are more 
readable.  After the style-sheets are categorized, the user could search for 
the best scheme based on some criteria.  For instance, a user may want a 90% 
professional and 100% readable scheme.  Or maybe the user wants a scheme for 
Halloween or Christmas.

    What do you all think?  Too bad i never have time to implement half the 
stuff i want to.  i'd like to know if any of my ideas would actually help.  


    > From: lupshaw@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
    > To: programmingblind@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
    > Subject: colors and backgrounds for web pages
    > Date: Mon, 29 Oct 2007 08:00:31 -0800
    > Hi everyone,
    > Sighted people are giving me a hard time because my web pages aren't
    > breathing fires of colorful flames! *smile* Where can I go, or what should
    > I study to learn about colors and backgrounds for web pages? Also, is this
    > something that blind people can really do? Or, will I need lots of sighted
    > assistance?
    > With All Respect,
    > Upshaw, LaMar T
    > __________
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