Saturday, September 6, 2008

Peeve: Web Texts

And PDFs, since this post is motivated by the last straw of a PDF. Black text on a white background is based on black ink (the standard) on white paper (the current standard). There is absolutely no reason to do this with your web pages. Honestly I find the contrast way too high and it hurts my eyes most if the time. Netscape, or more accurately Netscape Navigator, used to default pages to black text on a light grey background, which I think is a much better contrast ratio. Yes, you are probably thinking I could adjust my monitor, but no, the brightness is down all the way (I admit on my last computer I would have it up all the way, so I am aware of the issues). 

Yes, we do base new technologies on old ones. Horses seem to benefit... suffer... in this nomenclature. The iron horse was the locomotive (crazy motion?), and the horseless carriage was the automobile (self moving). The telephone was based on and considered an extension of the telegraph. Radio was at first called wireless telegraphy and was indeed used in that way.

But, after a while, we move beyond the considerations of the old technology and realize new potential with the new one. I feel we've done that with the Internet, but not in this one key area. Interface experts abound (well, maybe not at certain companies). 

This is why I use the blogger template that I do. I hate the brightness of the intentionally paper-white backgrounds. This isn't paper. It's much, much more.