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Old 04.08.2011, 14:41
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do you find white text on a black background annoying?

Hi there,

I recently set up a blog and chose a white text on black background just because I thought it made it look sleek as well as really making photos look great. Since then, I've received two complaints from people who told me that such a colour scheme caused them eyestrain and they couldn't be bothered to read what I was writing for this reason. So my question is this. What do you think? Do you also find this scheme annoying. If yes, what would you suggest changing it to? I just don't want the classic look of black on white because I find it so boring....

Here is the link to my blog if you want to check out the way it looks.

http://www.theartofslowtravel.com

Thanks for any tips/advice.
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Old 04.08.2011, 14:42
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Re: do you find white text on a black background annoying?

Yes, it actually bothers my eyes and I can't look at it for too long.
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Old 04.08.2011, 14:44
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Re: do you find white text on a black background annoying?

is black on white the only thing you find ok to read or would, for example, a dark grey background with white text be ok as well?
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Old 04.08.2011, 14:44
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Re: do you find white text on a black background annoying?

Yup... makes my eyes go funny.

Sorry.
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Old 04.08.2011, 14:44
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Re: do you find white text on a black background annoying?

I'd like to see (from the environmentalist freaks) how much energy we would save globally, if a standard of white on black was adopted for digital displays
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Old 04.08.2011, 14:49
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Re: do you find white text on a black background annoying?

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Yup... makes my eyes go funny.

Sorry.
No need to apologise. I mean I realised myself it is hard on the eyes sometimes, especially when my eyes are tired, but I'm looking for a an alternative which does not involve boring grey text on white. Or do I just HAVE TO be boring to make reading easier??? difficult...
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Old 04.08.2011, 14:51
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Re: do you find white text on a black background annoying?

how does blue on black look?
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Old 04.08.2011, 14:52
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Re: do you find white text on a black background annoying?

Simply because it is harder to read.

It may look great, but no one is going to read it for long if they get eye strain reading it.

Generally reading on-screen is slower than from printed paper (as the resolution is lower with the former vs. the latter if I recall correctly), so if you then throw in a load of black forcing you to concentrate harder to "see the light" (sorry can't think of another way of expressing it) then it isn't going to be a great success.

The receptors in the eye are geared to react to light, hence if you have very little light (only the letters) you need to work harder, in turn, leading to a greater potential for eye strain.
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Old 04.08.2011, 14:54
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Re: do you find white text on a black background annoying?

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No need to apologise. I mean I realised myself it is hard on the eyes sometimes, especially when my eyes are tired, but I'm looking for a an alternative which does not involve boring grey text on white. Or do I just HAVE TO be boring to make reading easier??? difficult...
The boring or not doesn't come from the background and text color . I prefer dark text on light background.

An example of boring black on white that I don't find boring at all.

http://hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.com/
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Old 04.08.2011, 14:56
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Re: do you find white text on a black background annoying?

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Simply because it is harder to read.

It may look great, but no one is going to read it for long if they get eye strain reading it.

Generally reading on-screen is slower than from printed paper (as the resolution is lower with the former vs. the latter if I recall correctly), so if you then throw in a load of black forcing you to concentrate harder to "see the light" (sorry can't think of another way of expressing it) then it isn't going to be a great success.

The receptors in the eye are geared to react to light, hence if you have very little light (only the letters) you need to work harder, in turn, leading to a greater potential for eye strain.
yep...makes sense
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Old 04.08.2011, 15:02
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Re: do you find white text on a black background annoying?

If you like the white print on a dark background, try a more soothing color than black.

Here is a snippet with some color ideas: The Psychology of Color


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Old 04.08.2011, 15:13
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Re: do you find white text on a black background annoying?

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is black on white the only thing you find ok to read or would, for example, a dark grey background with white text be ok as well?
Sometimes white on red

Not so much a visual stigma, but more a complication of feelings between euphoria and nausia


"ein beispiel"
I have drawn a small letter "t" on a red background below.

Do you read:
a)"t" or
b)"get out ausländer"

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Old 04.08.2011, 15:48
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Re: do you find white text on a black background annoying?

No matter how interesting a site looks like it might be, I won't come back very often if it's white on black. It's just too much effort.

But I think your site looks great, apart from that!
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Old 04.08.2011, 15:58
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Re: do you find white text on a black background annoying?

aparently it's got nothing to do with white writing on a black background at all:
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Old 04.08.2011, 16:09
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Re: do you find white text on a black background annoying?

i prefer light on dark, but you might want to try grey on black instead of white to reduce the contrast a bit.
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Old 04.08.2011, 17:37
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Re: do you find white text on a black background annoying?

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No matter how interesting a site looks like it might be, I won't come back very often if it's white on black. It's just too much effort.

But I think your site looks great, apart from that!
Thanks. I will look into it with my web designer as I definitely don't want to create such a problem for potential readers
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Old 04.08.2011, 18:28
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Re: do you find white text on a black background annoying?

I really like the layout and your colour scheme. But as soon as I attempt to read the blurb my eye's go 'nooooo' and I skip to the next pretty picture.

Why not leave your headings and photo's on the black on the front page and change the colour behind the text after the jump? You could box your text with grey behind like in your comments section
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Old 04.08.2011, 18:29
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Re: do you find white text on a black background annoying?

The biggest problem for me is not the white text on a black background, but the fact that you've chosen a serif typeface. Serif is ok in print but it's a right pain in the rear end on a monitor. So much so that if I come across a post here that's written in a serif typface sometimes I'll edit it back to the forum default font for readability.

A website is about imparting information. Take a look around you at those things that are informing you of something. Street signs, prohibition signs, adverts etc, and I'll bet you that the vast majority are written in a san-serif typeface. Why? Because it's faster and easier to read.
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Old 04.08.2011, 18:34
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Re: do you find white text on a black background annoying?

White on black is famously difficult to read. That's why advertisers (usually) avoid it, and most instances of light colours reversed out of dark.

White on white is much cooler.

HTH.
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Old 04.08.2011, 18:55
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Re: do you find white text on a black background annoying?

I read you full "Why I'm leaving Switzerland" entry, and I was left with a VERY annoying burn-in feeling in my eyes (I switched from your blog to this tab clicked on reply, wrote all this, and the black is still burn in my sight). It will take another minute or so for it to leave, which makes reading a long post increasingly difficult. It's OK at first, but if you want your visitors to stick around for at least 5 minutes...well, change your color scheme ASAP.
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