Regardless of the artistic merits of a black background, it has been known for years that white-on-black is very hard to read. Speed and comprehension drop dramatically, and the web site will lose visitors.

There's a reason why virtually ALL commercial web sites use a light-colored background with dark text. They're in it for the money, and they've done the usability studies. Dark backgrounds lose customers. The only exceptions are web sites where the graphical/artistic content outweighs the text, such as a "batman returns" site, or a photographer's site.

Atheist Nexus is not an artistic site; it's primary medium is text, and that text's readability should be maximized.

I hope this helps.
James

Tags: black, usability, web

Views: 132

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

I'd prefer a soft coloured background. I have poor eyesight and the bright white hurts my eyes. I don't find the black background too bad, but, yes, I think a soft grey - maybe a little like the menu bar of the posting box - would be good. Slightly larger print would be nice too if we're making a wish list.
i agree,a grey or tan might be better.
If you are using Fire Fox,you can increase the size of your fonts. Go to the top of your window and choose:
Edit.preferences> content>Default font >Ariel black>
Size. (Whatever) Advanced>(More options to change other fonts.)
Ok.
the poll for black background is at 66.6% at the moment the number of the beast
You should never, ever rely on the votes of your users for usability feedback. First, the users who vote are ALREADY biased -- in this case, they're the ones who managed stay in spite of the difficult-to-read white-on-black background. Second, user opinion has been shown to be a grossly inaccurate way to do usability studies. You can only judge by what people do, not what they say. People's opinions are surprisingly at odds with their actual behavior.

The best way to judge usability is via the Google Analytics "Bounce Rate". Offer two (or more) different versions of the web site, which are randomly assigned as visitors arrive. Then use the Google Analytics to see how long each user stays on the site. This site should have plenty of traffic, enough that you can get meaningful statistics in just a day or two.
Oh good one!!!!
In this reply to my whiny post (http://www.atheistnexus.org/xn/detail/2182797:Comment:67753), Brother Richard said: "I will be rolling out a white option soon and get some feedback from people."

Patience my young grasshopper, patience. :P
I must say I agree with this, looking forward to the light-colored version.
Yeah, this is a make-or-break issue for me. When I signed up I assumed that I could adjust the settings. If I can't, then I can't use it with a black background. This is a serious usability issue.
I agree! White on black text really is very hard on the eyes. There are times when I can't stay on as long as I want because my eyes become fatigued.

I love the look of the black background as much as the next person, in fact my personal blog is black with gray text (gray is easier than stark white). But I was sad to see so many people voting for it and figured I'm SOL. Glad to see that there will be other options eventually.
I can't read white text on black/grey background for too long either, my visits have become fewer and fewer since the new black/grey background.
Would it be possible to choose our own colour scheme/skin for the whole site, the same as we do on our personal page?
Just a thought.

Simon
It is known that white text on a dark background is bad, however, most people don't really like that Facebook white either. It's too white and too plain. Certainly there must be a way to tweak it somewhere inbetween. This site in terms of style is not very stylish as such either. Quite minimalistic and simple for CSS. Question is though if it's style we want.
I say keep it simple and give users options for how they'd like things displayed. The white text on black background doesn't bother me in the slightest (I prefer it to the sterile white actually).

Give people choices that will make the site comfortable for them to use but don't bury the options in a sea of drop-down menus. Individual page themes are great but some sites have user 'skins' that change overall basic elements. Has that been optioned?

RSS

Support Atheist Nexus

Donate Today

Donate

 

Help Nexus When You Buy From Amazon

Amazon

MJ

© 2014   Atheist Nexus. All rights reserved. Admin: Richard Haynes.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service