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Re: High contrast options


From: Cliff Tyllick
Date: Oct 22, 2008 10:20AM

As for the "dark text/light background v. light text/dark background" issue, you are correct. In fact, it depends not only on the individual but also the device and setting. Move from a bright room to a dark room and your preference might change.

I recently discovered that light on dark actually worked better on my monitor in my office. (I keep the lights off. It isn't pitch dark, but dark enough that I sometimes have to turn the lights on to review printed material with visitors.) Then my computer was upgraded. With it, I got a new, flat-screen monitor. Now dark on light seems better. Viewing the same content on a handheld device in bright sunlight, I might have yet another preference.

From the standpoint of site design, you can't predict with complete certainty what temporary or permanent conditions might make it difficult for the user to view your content. Stay within the guidelines of WCAG for color difference and contrast, but don't prevent the user from changing the conditions to meet his or her own needs. (Some viewers might actually need a *low-contrast* option!)

Sounds like you're thinking right. I think John Brandt's advice is on the mark, too.

Cliff Tyllick
Web development coordinator
Agency Communications Division
Texas Commission on Environmental Quality

>>> "Carol Wheeler" < <EMAIL REMOVED> > 10/22/2008 10:03 AM >>>
Our sites (Word Cancer Research Fund/American Institute for Cancer Research) are undergoing a redesign and I was asked to comment on the high contrast, mostly because I am the squeaky wheel. My accessibility expertise is limited to trying to read as much as I can and being on this list.

Am I correct in thinking that the question of dark text/light background v. light text/dark background is more individual to users than accessibility on the whole? (Font scaling is being included in the redesign.)
It has been suggested that the high contrast version eliminates images, I think this is a bad idea--yes?
I also ran across a previous discussion point when searching the archives that including high contrast icons is an important consideration.

Carol E. Wheeler
Web Department
American Institute for Cancer Research
1759 R Street NW
Washington DC 20009
Tel: 202-328-7744
Fax: 202-328-7226