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Re: Color contrast in links -- is it important?


From: tedd
Date: Apr 20, 2007 4:40PM

At 11:15 AM -0700 4/20/07, Keith Parks wrote:
>On Apr 20, 2007, at 10:26 AM, tedd wrote:
>> I use the following link a lot. It's a great link into understand
>> color contrast.
> > http://gmazzocato.altervista.org/colorwheel/wheel.php
>> If you play with it, you'll see that there is a very small area of
>> "OK!" settings.
>It seems like you're getting into a different issue here. That color
>wheel is aimed at checking text/background contrast, right? Whereas
>originally you were talking about having sufficient difference
>between two *foreground* text color, no?

Interesting, I see what you are talking about, namely the difference
between two foreground text, which raises a problem I had not
considered. In other words, how much color-contrast difference should
here be between all the states of the link and as compared to the
surrounding standard text -- that's a big consideration.

I was talking about the color-contrast of links against the
background and if those elements should be treated the same as any
other text against the same background. I think the consensus is
"yes". But, you raise a question that may not have a solution.

The solution to the problem you raised must provide enough contrast
between all states of the link as well as being different than
standard text. That will certainly narrow the field of possibilities
down considerably. You do have any references on that?

> > Also, you speak of using a heaver font -- does that work? Is font
>> size an element that can be used to offset the color contrast
>> requirement? For example, is color-contrast different for a font-size
>> 1em and compared to font-size 1.2em?
>At least in terms of the 508 spec's, "...information conveyed with
>color is also available without color, for example from context or

"Without color" what does that mean? Black on white, or what? Without
color means transparent to me.

Also, is it acceptable to have a "contrast-link" setting for those
who need it? Will that satisfy the section 508 spec's? Or, is this
supposed to be a "one-size fit all" sort of thing?

>Since part of the "information" you are trying to communicate is that
>one bit of text is a link, while another bit is not, then if your
>*only* differentiation between links and non is color, even if it
>does pass the contrast tests, you'd still come up short. A larger
>font would theoretically qualify as a non-color distinction, but
>depending on if the user has text anti-aliasing, what their monitor
>resolution is, etc, I'm not sure that a .2em difference would even be
>distinguishable in many cases.

That example I gave was a 20 percent increase in the size of the
font. Okay, let's try this again, what if one paragraph font size is
twice the font size of a different paragraph? Do they fall under
different contrast guidelines?

Thanks for your time and comment.



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