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

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Fark. For environmental reasons, black is beautiful. Default white backgrounds = power waste.

I like black. I like the site the way it is.
Who Says? I mean what is the source of information of black bg being difficult to read "known for years" the fact that more people do it isn't...oh wait a minute I just looked down at my keyboard after reading the screen and little words are swimming all over. I need to get a black keyboard right away!
G
Dyslexics need soft pastal background, trust me on this.
Most sites today are put together with some type of CMS (content management system). Most of them permit STYLES to be open to user selection. I have put up many Drupal sites like that, and I've done one Cold Fusion site like that. How is this site constructed. Is that not a possibility?
I like white on black background, I actually find it easier to read, and (putting on enviro-cap) the cumulative global amount of power consumption (and associated emmissions) by default white backgrounds, though not calculated, must be staggering.
Apparently, consulting firm Cadmus Group ran a quick test by loading Blackle (a black background website), Google and the Web site of the New York Times (which is, like Google, is mostly white on-screen) on two monitors — one CRT, one LCD — and connecting a power meter to both.

“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. Tweaking brightness and contrast and settings had a bigger effect. The bulkier CRT screen did see savings with Blackle of between 5% and 20%. Mr. Korn emphasized that this was a quick test, not a rigorous study.

Apparently, other tests suggests that on flat-panel monitors (estimated to be 75% of the market), displaying black may actually increase energy usage.
Heh - I was assuming the same results would apply as for CRT. I have old data
I'm definately in favor of a lighter color scheme. It is the reason why I changed my home page color.
"it has been known for years that white-on-black is very hard to read"

There's a reason why programmers - people paid to sit in front of computers for hours and hours at a time - tend to prefer white monospace text against a black background. The only programmer's editors I can think of where people consistently don't follow this pattern are Notepad and BBEdit.

I read all my e-mail now in white monospace text on a black background, and a lot else. The problem with black backgrounds on the web isn't that they are de facto unreadable. It's that you need to change the typography to match.

May I suggest that people who don't like the current Atheist Nexus design should consider perhaps creating a custom user stylesheet (google 'Stylish' and 'userstyles') that would change the colours. I've been thinking of creating one that would bump up the type size a little.

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