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Thread: color change button?

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Number of posts in this thread: 13 (In chronological order)

From: Tomlins Diane
Date: Wed, Sep 27 2017 3:21PM
Subject: color change button?
No previous message | Next message →

Hi everyone,
We are working on the branding colors for our many divisions' websites to meet the Level AA contrast ratios. As you might expect, some marketing people are unhappy about this and pushing back. In most cases, the color change is fairly subtle, it's not like these are drastic color changes (except for one site that uses a screaming orange!)

So, one of those folks pushing back has suggested that we provide a mechanism that would allow a visitor to change the colors to our compliant colors if they need it. Our answer to that idea is that it's not an acceptable solution, the colors need to be accessible to begin with. This person went as far as to suggest that we are making their sites ugly just to cater to "the 1% who need it".. I was kind of gob-smacked by that response, especially when this person goes on to say " we take accessibility very serious but..." - smh.

They are now asking for facts or something to back up WHY this color change button cannot be used. I provided quite a few statistics to refute the 1% comment as they clearly have no idea how many people are affected and can benefit from good color contrast.

Anyway, I'm interested in your input/opinion on this idea.. has anyone ever done such a thing?? I think I know what the arguments are against it, but some of you may have different ones :)

Thank you!
Diane R Tomlins
HCA IT&S | Digital Media
Accessibility SME

From: Patrick H. Lauke
Date: Wed, Sep 27 2017 3:32PM
Subject: Re: color change button?
← Previous message | Next message →

Provided that the setting/button/whatever to switch to complaint color
combinations is, by default, contrasty enough for users who need it to
be able to actually find it, this is an acceptable solution. More work
to do, of course.

P
--
Patrick H. Lauke

www.splintered.co.uk | https://github.com/patrickhlauke
http://flickr.com/photos/redux/ | http://redux.deviantart.com
twitter: @patrick_h_lauke | skype: patrick_h_lauke

From: Sarah Ferguson
Date: Wed, Sep 27 2017 3:33PM
Subject: Re: color change button?
← Previous message | Next message →

I've heard it can be used as a basis for a discrimination lawsuit. That
usually silences the nay-sayers.

Sarah


On Wed, Sep 27, 2017 at 5:21 PM, Tomlins Diane <
= EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > wrote:

> Hi everyone,
> We are working on the branding colors for our many divisions' websites to
> meet the Level AA contrast ratios. As you might expect, some marketing
> people are unhappy about this and pushing back. In most cases, the color
> change is fairly subtle, it's not like these are drastic color changes
> (except for one site that uses a screaming orange!)
>
> So, one of those folks pushing back has suggested that we provide a
> mechanism that would allow a visitor to change the colors to our compliant
> colors if they need it. Our answer to that idea is that it's not an
> acceptable solution, the colors need to be accessible to begin with. This
> person went as far as to suggest that we are making their sites ugly just
> to cater to "the 1% who need it".. I was kind of gob-smacked by that
> response, especially when this person goes on to say " we take
> accessibility very serious but..." - smh.
>
> They are now asking for facts or something to back up WHY this color
> change button cannot be used. I provided quite a few statistics to refute
> the 1% comment as they clearly have no idea how many people are affected
> and can benefit from good color contrast.
>
> Anyway, I'm interested in your input/opinion on this idea.. has anyone
> ever done such a thing?? I think I know what the arguments are against it,
> but some of you may have different ones :)
>
> Thank you!
> Diane R Tomlins
> HCA IT&S | Digital Media
> Accessibility SME
>
>
> > > > >

From: Jeremy Echols
Date: Wed, Sep 27 2017 3:37PM
Subject: Re: color change button?
← Previous message | Next message →

It's only anecdotal, but I find that even with glasses and "good enough" vision, contrast is a killer for me. I don't know why; I don't need glasses to drive, and I can even read without glasses if the font isn't too small. But I have a lot of trouble when contrast is low. Even sometimes AA-compliant contrast ratios are hard for me if the font is too thin. There are sites I've hacked with the Stylish plugin, but oftentimes I just don't bother wasting the time, and leave the site. If you're selling something that's available elsewhere, I'd likely go to a competitor. That could be a case for fixing contrast.

-----Original Message-----
From: WebAIM-Forum [mailto: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ] On Behalf Of Tomlins Diane
Sent: Wednesday, September 27, 2017 2:21 PM
To: WebAIM Discussion List < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = >
Subject: [WebAIM] color change button?

Hi everyone,
We are working on the branding colors for our many divisions' websites to meet the Level AA contrast ratios. As you might expect, some marketing people are unhappy about this and pushing back. In most cases, the color change is fairly subtle, it's not like these are drastic color changes (except for one site that uses a screaming orange!)

So, one of those folks pushing back has suggested that we provide a mechanism that would allow a visitor to change the colors to our compliant colors if they need it. Our answer to that idea is that it's not an acceptable solution, the colors need to be accessible to begin with. This person went as far as to suggest that we are making their sites ugly just to cater to "the 1% who need it".. I was kind of gob-smacked by that response, especially when this person goes on to say " we take accessibility very serious but..." - smh.

They are now asking for facts or something to back up WHY this color change button cannot be used. I provided quite a few statistics to refute the 1% comment as they clearly have no idea how many people are affected and can benefit from good color contrast.

Anyway, I'm interested in your input/opinion on this idea.. has anyone ever done such a thing?? I think I know what the arguments are against it, but some of you may have different ones :)

Thank you!
Diane R Tomlins
HCA IT&S | Digital Media
Accessibility SME

From: Beattie, Allan
Date: Wed, Sep 27 2017 4:11PM
Subject: Re: color change button?
← Previous message | Next message →

Hi Diane

As Eric Meyer says, this kind of thing makes me scream internally into the void.

It never ceases to amaze me that marketing people, whose job entails helping the business to succeed by reaching more people, can so often be lacking in basic empathy.

"I find the colours ugly, so to hell with the many thousands of people for whom it's a barrier."

To answer your question "has anyone ever done such a thing?", the answer is yes: style switchers were all the rage about 15 years ago.

Jeremy Keith has one on his blog - https://adactio.com/
Léonie has one too - https://tink.uk/

As Patrick says, it'll be more work, but personally I would go ahead and build it, with one key proviso:

- the default colour scheme is accessible, with the marketing-friendly version behind the toggle.

That way, they get what they asked for, and everyone wins :)


Best of luck,
Allan

--
Allan A Beattie
Senior Web Developer

IT Services | University of Aberdeen
e: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = | t: +44 (0)1224 27 4486

-----Original Message-----
From: WebAIM-Forum [mailto: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ] On Behalf Of Tomlins Diane
Sent: Wednesday 27 September 2017 22:21
To: WebAIM Discussion List
Subject: [WebAIM] color change button?

Hi everyone,
We are working on the branding colors for our many divisions' websites to meet the Level AA contrast ratios. As you might expect, some marketing people are unhappy about this and pushing back. In most cases, the color change is fairly subtle, it's not like these are drastic color changes (except for one site that uses a screaming orange!)

So, one of those folks pushing back has suggested that we provide a mechanism that would allow a visitor to change the colors to our compliant colors if they need it. Our answer to that idea is that it's not an acceptable solution, the colors need to be accessible to begin with. This person went as far as to suggest that we are making their sites ugly just to cater to "the 1% who need it".. I was kind of gob-smacked by that response, especially when this person goes on to say " we take accessibility very serious but..." - smh.

They are now asking for facts or something to back up WHY this color change button cannot be used. I provided quite a few statistics to refute the 1% comment as they clearly have no idea how many people are affected and can benefit from good color contrast.

Anyway, I'm interested in your input/opinion on this idea.. has anyone ever done such a thing?? I think I know what the arguments are against it, but some of you may have different ones :)

Thank you!
Diane R Tomlins
HCA IT&S | Digital Media
Accessibility SME


The University of Aberdeen is a charity registered in Scotland, No SC013683.
Tha Oilthigh Obar Dheathain na charthannas clàraichte ann an Alba, Àir. SC013683.

From: Patrick H. Lauke
Date: Wed, Sep 27 2017 4:19PM
Subject: Re: color change button?
← Previous message | Next message →

On 27/09/2017 23:11, Beattie, Allan wrote:
[...]
> As Patrick says, it'll be more work, but personally I would go ahead and build it, with one key proviso:
>
> - the default colour scheme is accessible, with the marketing-friendly version behind the toggle.
>
> That way, they get what they asked for, and everyone wins :)

That won't fly though, mark my words ;)

P
--
Patrick H. Lauke

www.splintered.co.uk | https://github.com/patrickhlauke
http://flickr.com/photos/redux/ | http://redux.deviantart.com
twitter: @patrick_h_lauke | skype: patrick_h_lauke

From: Karl Brown
Date: Thu, Sep 28 2017 5:42AM
Subject: Re: color change button?
← Previous message | Next message →

Sarah's point is very true. The threat of a discrimination lawsuit, or even
a public accusation of discrimination, is a huge turn-off for most people.
It's worked at some clients I've had, especially when I could show how
subtle a change it was between the old and new colours.

Given your company is in the healthcare industry there's also a question of
professional pride. A healthcare brand should be focused on helping people
rather than the aesthetics, so changing brand colours shouldn't be a big
deal. That said, some designers and marketers are more obsessed with
"beauty" and forget that if it's not usable, it's not beautiful.

On Wed, Sep 27, 2017 at 11:19 PM, Patrick H. Lauke < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = >
wrote:

> On 27/09/2017 23:11, Beattie, Allan wrote:
> [...]
>
>> As Patrick says, it'll be more work, but personally I would go ahead and
>> build it, with one key proviso:
>>
>> - the default colour scheme is accessible, with the marketing-friendly
>> version behind the toggle.
>>
>> That way, they get what they asked for, and everyone wins :)
>>
>
> That won't fly though, mark my words ;)
>
> P
> --
> Patrick H. Lauke
>
> www.splintered.co.uk | https://github.com/patrickhlauke
> http://flickr.com/photos/redux/ | http://redux.deviantart.com
> twitter: @patrick_h_lauke | skype: patrick_h_lauke
> > > > >



--
Karl Brown
Twitter: @kbdevelops
Skype: kbdevelopment

Professional Certificate Web Accessibility Compliance (Distinction),
University of South Australia, 2015

From: Beattie, Allan
Date: Thu, Sep 28 2017 6:20AM
Subject: Re: color change button?
← Previous message | Next message →

> some designers and marketers are more obsessed with "beauty" and forget that if it's not usable, it's not beautiful.

To reinforce that point, you could remind them that the GDS won Design of the Year in 2013 for the .gov.uk website...


--
Allan A Beattie
Senior Web Developer

IT Services | University of Aberdeen
e: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = | t: +44 (0)1224 27 4486



The University of Aberdeen is a charity registered in Scotland, No SC013683.
Tha Oilthigh Obar Dheathain na charthannas clàraichte ann an Alba, Àir. SC013683.

From: Tomlins Diane
Date: Thu, Sep 28 2017 8:01AM
Subject: Re: color change button?
← Previous message | Next message →

> On 27/09/2017 23:11, Beattie, Allan wrote:
>" As Eric Meyer says, this kind of thing makes me scream internally into the void."

Allan, love that quote - that is EXACTLY how I felt when I heard this person's objections!
>" yes: style switchers were all the rage about 15 years ago." -- Forgot about those... ancient history!

> - the default colour scheme is accessible, with the marketing-friendly version behind the toggle.
> That way, they get what they asked for, and everyone wins :)

I like that idea, unfortunately, I have to agree with Patrick, it is highly unlikely they will never agree with that approach. The whole problem is that their default color scheme is NOT accessible.

Karl, agree 100%!
>.. healthcare brand should be focused on helping people rather than the aesthetics, so changing brand colours shouldn't be a big deal. That said, some >designers and marketers are more obsessed with "beauty" and forget that if it's not usable, it's not beautiful.

My questions to this person suggesting the style switcher is: 'are people coming to your websites because they are pretty.. or are they looking for information and healthcare services??? Do you really think the colors are the first thing on their minds??' Of course, the answer to both is NO!

To Jeremy's point - I do wear glasses, but at my age (I'm a Boomer), I already notice a change in perception of color contrast due to aging. Our UX team has made changes to fonts and font sizes so that we are not using thin fonts and that we're using a minimum size of 16px.

I really think our best approach here is the discrimination piece, the possibility of legal action. It needs to be compliant to begin with.

Thanks!

Diane R Tomlins
HCA IT&S | Digital Media
Accessibility SME

-----Original Message-----
From: WebAIM-Forum [mailto: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ] On Behalf Of Beattie, Allan
Sent: Wednesday, September 27, 2017 5:12 PM
To: WebAIM Discussion List < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = >
Subject: [EXTERNAL] Re: [WebAIM] color change button?

Hi Diane

As Eric Meyer says, this kind of thing makes me scream internally into the void.

It never ceases to amaze me that marketing people, whose job entails helping the business to succeed by reaching more people, can so often be lacking in basic empathy.

"I find the colours ugly, so to hell with the many thousands of people for whom it's a barrier."

To answer your question "has anyone ever done such a thing?", the answer is yes: style switchers were all the rage about 15 years ago.

Jeremy Keith has one on his blog - https://adactio.com/ Léonie has one too - https://tink.uk/

As Patrick says, it'll be more work, but personally I would go ahead and build it, with one key proviso:

- the default colour scheme is accessible, with the marketing-friendly version behind the toggle.

That way, they get what they asked for, and everyone wins :)


Best of luck,
Allan

--
Allan A Beattie
Senior Web Developer

IT Services | University of Aberdeen
e: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = | t: +44 (0)1224 27 4486

-----Original Message-----
From: WebAIM-Forum [mailto: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ] On Behalf Of Tomlins Diane
Sent: Wednesday 27 September 2017 22:21
To: WebAIM Discussion List
Subject: [WebAIM] color change button?

Hi everyone,
We are working on the branding colors for our many divisions' websites to meet the Level AA contrast ratios. As you might expect, some marketing people are unhappy about this and pushing back. In most cases, the color change is fairly subtle, it's not like these are drastic color changes (except for one site that uses a screaming orange!)

So, one of those folks pushing back has suggested that we provide a mechanism that would allow a visitor to change the colors to our compliant colors if they need it. Our answer to that idea is that it's not an acceptable solution, the colors need to be accessible to begin with. This person went as far as to suggest that we are making their sites ugly just to cater to "the 1% who need it".. I was kind of gob-smacked by that response, especially when this person goes on to say " we take accessibility very serious but..." - smh.

They are now asking for facts or something to back up WHY this color change button cannot be used. I provided quite a few statistics to refute the 1% comment as they clearly have no idea how many people are affected and can benefit from good color contrast.

Anyway, I'm interested in your input/opinion on this idea.. has anyone ever done such a thing?? I think I know what the arguments are against it, but some of you may have different ones :)

Thank you!
Diane R Tomlins
HCA IT&S | Digital Media
Accessibility SME


The University of Aberdeen is a charity registered in Scotland, No SC013683.
Tha Oilthigh Obar Dheathain na charthannas clàraichte ann an Alba, Àir. SC013683.

From: Patrick H. Lauke
Date: Thu, Sep 28 2017 8:55AM
Subject: Re: color change button?
← Previous message | Next message →

On 28/09/2017 15:01, Tomlins Diane wrote:
[...]
> I really think our best approach here is the discrimination piece, the possibility of legal action. It needs to be compliant to begin with.

First answer to any discrimination piece: we're not discriminating,
there IS a switcher. If you need better contrast, use that. There is no
discrimination here. You can argue that "there shouldn't need to be two
separate views/ways", but providing an equivalent alternative is
perfectly fine and not discrimination.

P
--
Patrick H. Lauke

www.splintered.co.uk | https://github.com/patrickhlauke
http://flickr.com/photos/redux/ | http://redux.deviantart.com
twitter: @patrick_h_lauke | skype: patrick_h_lauke

From: Sarah Ferguson
Date: Thu, Sep 28 2017 9:06AM
Subject: Re: color change button?
← Previous message | Next message →

It can be considered discrimination by not providing the same experience,
if something has to change for you to be able to use it. I'm not saying
that would hold up in court, but it's enough for a claim to be made.
Especially in this world of social media, a claim is enough to plummet
stock prices.

Sarah Ferguson
Web Accessibility Specialist
Department of Digital Communications
Brandeis University *|* 781.736.4259
www.brandeis.edu/web-accessibility


On Thu, Sep 28, 2017 at 10:55 AM, Patrick H. Lauke < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = >
wrote:

> On 28/09/2017 15:01, Tomlins Diane wrote:
> [...]
>
>> I really think our best approach here is the discrimination piece, the
>> possibility of legal action. It needs to be compliant to begin with.
>>
>
> First answer to any discrimination piece: we're not discriminating, there
> IS a switcher. If you need better contrast, use that. There is no
> discrimination here. You can argue that "there shouldn't need to be two
> separate views/ways", but providing an equivalent alternative is perfectly
> fine and not discrimination.
>
> P
> --
> Patrick H. Lauke
>
> www.splintered.co.uk | https://github.com/patrickhlauke
> http://flickr.com/photos/redux/ | http://redux.deviantart.com
> twitter: @patrick_h_lauke | skype: patrick_h_lauke
> > > > >

From: Jordan Wilson
Date: Thu, Sep 28 2017 10:13AM
Subject: Re: color change button?
← Previous message | Next message →

Using a CSS style switcher is an acceptable solution covered as a success criteria in the WCAG spec.
https://www.w3.org/TR/2016/NOTE-WCAG20-TECHS-20161007/G174

To be clear this is not the best solution, having a fully compliant site by default would be ideal, but it would be wrong for our community not to realize the importance of color in identity and brand and the value that color brings to design and differentiation. A11y will only prosper when we take the needs of others seriously and adapt our solutions to help them balance their needs and compliance.

IF you are going to use a color switcher I do have some recommendations:

-Explain to your team that this is an exception and not a rule. If they do a brand refresh in the future they should consider color contrast requirements when they do so to avoid doing this in the future. Any modern branding team should be designing for digital and including color contrast standards.

-Make sure that your chosen colors are as close as possible to compliance. If you’re brand colors are 4.3 to 1 (instead of 4.5) this may be a good workaround for you. If you’re trying to use light yellow on white, you’re missing the point.

-Especially avoid using brand colors in body copy and small text. Stick with high contrast for your main content text.

-Make sure your Color switcher is readily available and fully accessible. It should be a permanent feature at the top of the page, accessible via keyboard. The color switcher itself must provide appropriate color contrast and keyboard accessibility,

-Offer a cookie to save settings across pages and through multiple sessions – once a user chooses color contrast on/off, consider using a cookie so the user get the chosen mode every visit.

-Create a plan to maintain the high contrast CSS sheet over time – every new style will need to be evaluated and the high contrast sheet maintained. If your contrast issues exist on your site when High Contrast is on, you are out of compliance.

Jordan


On 9/28/17, 11:06 AM, "WebAIM-Forum on behalf of Sarah Ferguson" < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = on behalf of = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > wrote:

It can be considered discrimination by not providing the same experience,
if something has to change for you to be able to use it. I'm not saying
that would hold up in court, but it's enough for a claim to be made.
Especially in this world of social media, a claim is enough to plummet
stock prices.

Sarah Ferguson
Web Accessibility Specialist
Department of Digital Communications
Brandeis University *|* 781.736.4259
www.brandeis.edu/web-accessibility


On Thu, Sep 28, 2017 at 10:55 AM, Patrick H. Lauke < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = >
wrote:

> On 28/09/2017 15:01, Tomlins Diane wrote:
> [...]
>
>> I really think our best approach here is the discrimination piece, the
>> possibility of legal action. It needs to be compliant to begin with.
>>
>
> First answer to any discrimination piece: we're not discriminating, there
> IS a switcher. If you need better contrast, use that. There is no
> discrimination here. You can argue that "there shouldn't need to be two
> separate views/ways", but providing an equivalent alternative is perfectly
> fine and not discrimination.
>
> P
> --
> Patrick H. Lauke
>
> www.splintered.co.uk | https://github.com/patrickhlauke
> http://flickr.com/photos/redux/ | http://redux.deviantart.com
> twitter: @patrick_h_lauke | skype: patrick_h_lauke
> > > > >

From: Tomlins Diane
Date: Thu, Sep 28 2017 11:01AM
Subject: Re: color change button?
← Previous message | No next message

Thanks Jordan, great feedback and recommendations.

With the 'exception rather than the rule' thing - knowing our division people, if one is allowed to have it, others will want it as their default too :-/ Maintaining the additional CSS, adding to our already hefty CSS footprint, is a development and maintenance concern. Using cookies (which makes perfect sense) adds a little extra development time (we have a huge platform and codebase).

These are some of the things we'd need to consider should we go with this. Our developers are already committed up to their eyeballs in every sprint for several quarters in advance. Obviously this may need some further discussion with management.

What would be interesting - attach analytics to that style switcher button -- and see what kind of story the numbers tell.

Diane R Tomlins
HCA IT&S | Digital Media
Accessibility SME


-----Original Message-----
From: WebAIM-Forum [mailto: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ] On Behalf Of Jordan Wilson
Sent: Thursday, September 28, 2017 11:14 AM
To: WebAIM Discussion List < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = >
Subject: [EXTERNAL] Re: [WebAIM] color change button?

Using a CSS style switcher is an acceptable solution covered as a success criteria in the WCAG spec.
https://www.w3.org/TR/2016/NOTE-WCAG20-TECHS-20161007/G174

To be clear this is not the best solution, having a fully compliant site by default would be ideal, but it would be wrong for our community not to realize the importance of color in identity and brand and the value that color brings to design and differentiation. A11y will only prosper when we take the needs of others seriously and adapt our solutions to help them balance their needs and compliance.

IF you are going to use a color switcher I do have some recommendations:

-Explain to your team that this is an exception and not a rule. If they do a brand refresh in the future they should consider color contrast requirements when they do so to avoid doing this in the future. Any modern branding team should be designing for digital and including color contrast standards.

-Make sure that your chosen colors are as close as possible to compliance. If you’re brand colors are 4.3 to 1 (instead of 4.5) this may be a good workaround for you. If you’re trying to use light yellow on white, you’re missing the point.

-Especially avoid using brand colors in body copy and small text. Stick with high contrast for your main content text.

-Make sure your Color switcher is readily available and fully accessible. It should be a permanent feature at the top of the page, accessible via keyboard. The color switcher itself must provide appropriate color contrast and keyboard accessibility,

-Offer a cookie to save settings across pages and through multiple sessions – once a user chooses color contrast on/off, consider using a cookie so the user get the chosen mode every visit.

-Create a plan to maintain the high contrast CSS sheet over time – every new style will need to be evaluated and the high contrast sheet maintained. If your contrast issues exist on your site when High Contrast is on, you are out of compliance.

Jordan


On 9/28/17, 11:06 AM, "WebAIM-Forum on behalf of Sarah Ferguson" < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = on behalf of = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > wrote:

It can be considered discrimination by not providing the same experience,
if something has to change for you to be able to use it. I'm not saying
that would hold up in court, but it's enough for a claim to be made.
Especially in this world of social media, a claim is enough to plummet
stock prices.

Sarah Ferguson
Web Accessibility Specialist
Department of Digital Communications
Brandeis University *|* 781.736.4259
www.brandeis.edu/web-accessibility


On Thu, Sep 28, 2017 at 10:55 AM, Patrick H. Lauke < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = >
wrote:

> On 28/09/2017 15:01, Tomlins Diane wrote:
> [...]
>
>> I really think our best approach here is the discrimination piece, the
>> possibility of legal action. It needs to be compliant to begin with.
>>
>
> First answer to any discrimination piece: we're not discriminating, there
> IS a switcher. If you need better contrast, use that. There is no
> discrimination here. You can argue that "there shouldn't need to be two
> separate views/ways", but providing an equivalent alternative is perfectly
> fine and not discrimination.
>
> P
> --
> Patrick H. Lauke
>
> www.splintered.co.uk | https://github.com/patrickhlauke
> http://flickr.com/photos/redux/ | http://redux.deviantart.com
> twitter: @patrick_h_lauke | skype: patrick_h_lauke
> > > > >