University Web Developers

University Web Developers

"White background with black text is hard to read and very boring"

I just received a review of my website from a subordinate of our marking person and one of the things they said was that "White background with black text is hard to read and very boring".

Has anyone heard this before? Is this true but only for the iWeb2.0 hacks? Or should I change our website to be black background with yellow text?

Views: 2369

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

From a strict usability standpoint, black on white is the most readable. There are lots of references to back you up - here's one: http://www.usability.gov/pdfs/chapter11.pdf

That said, I personally find a light non-white background with black text to be even more comfortable to read than pure white backgrounds. That's just a personal preference though. On our college site, we do use black on white.

Besides, designs can be lively and interesting and still have black text on a white background.
Just for general purpose stuff, I frequently use something like #eee for backgrounds. Still white-like, but just a tad softer. But as for that person's comment, I'd say it's ridiculous, generally speaking. Unless it's like a page of nothing but black Times New Roman on a white background with zero dressing otherwise.
I've noticed that #fff + #000 can be hard to read sometimes on some of the newer displays out there. The LED displays and large screens in general make the white background really bright sometimes, and it can be rough on the eyes.

A perfect example of what I'd prefer is this page itself - it's not nearly as bright as a basic brand new page, but the "black on white" description still applies. I've also been known to use the strategy Christina and Michael suggested as well, to tone down the contrast just a bit.
I agree with everyone's comments. I keep the white background and tone the text down to something like a #3e3e3e.
Brian's comment is dead on. I bought a couple new Dell displays recently, and those panels were so bright compared to my older Sony LCD that I got a headache if I used both displays at the same time.

Screen brightness is like screen resolution or color depth or font availability - one more thing we have no control over. Some older CRTs out there benefit from a #FFF background, but the newest LCDs make it overpowering. Its up to the individual to adjust their screen brightness to a comfortable level.

I have seen many sites, including this one, that use #333 or #444 text on a #FFF background. A lighter black reduces the contrast range and seems to help a bit.

As for the complaint from your marketing subordinate, that's quite a broad statement with a heavy does of personal preference. I actually find white text on black to be much harder to read for extended periods. And boring? Wow, they've got to bring a better argument to the table than that.
Honestly, what was so wrong with back in the day when we had bright green on dark green, and that was it? :D
We never know, it could come back! : )

My ten-year-old son loves that retro look and designs his pages that way. He thinks it looks more "techy."
I'm sorry I can't reply... this is on a white background with black text that is hard to read and very boring.

Sorry I couldn't help myself... I mean really!

Looks like reading through this thread lots of good feedback so someone had to be the devil's advocate. :)
those are great suggestions! we will try to incorporate this into our redesign.
Likewise, I dim down the text, usually in the range of #404040 on white or slightly off-white. Very subtle shifts do make it a little easier on the eyes IMO.

Color choices aren't "boring" alone though... particular attention to typography is important too.
White background with black text is hard to read and very boring

Hmm, well, all things about what we know of readability and contrast aside, the message this person is sending is that "I don't like it."

Would it be an appropriate gesture to ask the marketing person to tell you more about their comment?

If they respond "I read this report from such and such" and can back up their claim, then maybe it's worth listening to. If they respond that "My favorite website has a pretty blue background and pink polka-dots" then you can understand where they're coming from.
There have been studies done that baby boomers prefer clean with white space and that the younger generations prefers cluttered and dark background. I think ning is a good example of a site that does a good job trying to find a happy medium. Notice the dark gray background but the body of the page is white. Also the text in this forum is a dark gray and not black.

RSS

Elsewhere

Latest Activity

Linda Faciana commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Join our next webcast with Maxwell Rowe from @mackeycreativelab as he discusses ways to help students reach their educational goals using the guided pathways model on your website. http://bit.ly/2zhdcIt"
yesterday
Sara Arnold commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Frustrated with student retention efforts and low graduation rates? Maybe it’s time to consider the guided pathways model for your institution's website. Check out our latest white paper for all the details! http://bit.ly/38rNild"
Tuesday
Sara Arnold commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"OmniUpdate is excited to be in the running for a People’s Choice Stevie Award for Favorite Customer Service! If you’d like to show your support, cast your vote now! You can vote as many times as you’d like."
Jan 16
Linda Faciana commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Take a ½ hour out of your day to learn 4 important tips on keeping your website accessible! Join Ryan from Paskill Stapleton & Lord @PSandL as he shares the accessibility guidelines for your university website. http://bit.ly/2zhdcIt"
Jan 7
Sara Arnold commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Get up to speed on GDPR and how it affects your higher ed institution and student recruitment. http://bit.ly/2YZZtRQ"
Jan 7
Sara Arnold commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Web governance should not be an afterthought; when it’s done right, it can actually enhance your workflow and make your job easier. http://bit.ly/33vIZU0"
Nov 8, 2019
Sara Arnold commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Exciting news... OmniUpdate has merged with Destiny Solutions! Learn more on our blog. http://bit.ly/332KSr8"
Oct 30, 2019
Linda Faciana commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Switching to a new CMS? Join our next webcast with Briana Johnson from @OSUIT to learn how to convince decentralized web content authors to tolerate the switch, actively participate, and enjoy it! http://bit.ly/2zhdcIt"
Oct 29, 2019
Sara Arnold commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Your website is the front door to your college or university. Your website design has to accommodate for the way that students interact with and use the information your institution provides. http://bit.ly/2P8VldR"
Oct 24, 2019
Sara Arnold commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Learn how a new website design and CMS helped Florida Gulf Coast University increase new visits to the school’s website with improved SEO. http://bit.ly/2ByaQq4"
Oct 21, 2019
Profile IconJames Pollard and Michael Clarke joined University Web Developers
Oct 21, 2019
Linda Faciana commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Join our next webcast with Kelly Rushing from @uofsouthalabama to learn how to create accessible PDFs for your website by starting with your source documents. http://bit.ly/2zhdcIt"
Oct 18, 2019
Sara Arnold commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Learn why your college or university should choose SaaS across the board, especially for your next CMS. http://bit.ly/2Iy0SZE"
Oct 8, 2019
Linda Faciana commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Join us for our next webcast with OmniUpdate CEO Lance Merker, who will delve into key insights about Generation Z’s online search behaviors to help you refine your school's web marketing strategy. http://bit.ly/2zhdcIt"
Oct 3, 2019
Sara Arnold commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Our newest guide will help you learn what it means to be accessible, how to implement accessibility best practices, quick fixes to try as well as a long-term plan, plus tools to help you in your website accessibility efforts. Download it now!"
Oct 1, 2019
Linda Faciana commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Are online forms more efficient? Learn how El Camino College used Formstack to create online forms that expedited processing, improved communications, increased transparency, and promoted accountability across campus. http://bit.ly/2zhdcIt"
Sep 18, 2019
Sara Arnold commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"It's important to understand the science behind your web pages to better engage and ultimately attract prospective students to your site. http://bit.ly/2ZYK8FZ"
Sep 12, 2019
Linda Faciana commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"If you’re struggling with web challenges such as accessibility, SEO, design consistency, workflow, content governance, or how to start a website redesign, you’re not alone. Join our next webcast to learn how other higher ed institutions…"
Sep 5, 2019
Sara Arnold commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"eQAfy confirms that OU Campus is still the #1 commercial CMS for colleges and universities in the United States. http://bit.ly/2Lir9Mn"
Aug 28, 2019
Sara Arnold commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Here’s an outline of everything you need to know about OCR compliance, including what it is, what your college or university can do to stay compliant, and resources for OCR compliance. #accessibility http://bit.ly/2rcPDgG"
Aug 23, 2019

UWEBD has been in existence for more than 10 years and is the very best email discussion list on the Internet, in any industry, on any topic

About

© 2020   Created by Mark Greenfield.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service