W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-wai-eo-badtf@w3.org > February 2009

Re: Use dark text on light background

From: Shadi Abou-Zahra <shadi@w3.org>
Date: Fri, 13 Feb 2009 13:36:11 +0100
Message-ID: <4995693B.4050403@w3.org>
To: Michael Stenitzer <stenitzer@wienfluss.net>
CC: public-wai-eo-badtf@w3.org

Hi Michael,

Michael Stenitzer wrote:
> hi shadi,
> ummm, you are right. my answer was a bit "compact" ;-)
> - Use dark text on light background
> * black on white is maybe not the optimum, but reasonably good from an
>   accessibility point-of-view.

Just to be clear, the WCAG 2.0 Technique identified do not say black on 
white. Actually, there is a future link to a Technique that says avoid 
white background (Tom was absolutely right on this).

> * we decided not to change the visual design too much for accessibility
>   reasons - one intention was to show that you can make vissually
>   appealing webdesigns accessible. in our daily business accessibility
>   is accepted by our clients as an additional benefit as long as it does
>   not interfere with there original intentions (eg. design).[1]

I thought of changing the foreground/background color of either the 
"Terms and Conditions" notice, or the "Buy Tickets ..." lines on the 
Tickets page. This way we do not change the overall visual design too 
much. It similar like we changed the link colors and font styles.

> * we do have not that much text

I think the "Terms and Conditions" could be a good example. It is not 
much text but it is important text (like a legal notice).

> - Ensure links change colour after visit
> * i thought we picked out those WAI-AGE requirements backed by
>   WCAG-techniques.

It is a strong should. However, if the majority of the group thinks its 
good usability practice then we could do it. Note: one of the WAI-AGE 
findings is that usability improvements are often helpful for people who 
are new to computers, of which older people are often part of (I think 
this also replicates the findings of your study).

> please, don't see me as an advocate against those two recommendations. i 
> just thought they are not as important to include as others.

Totally! It's an open discussion...

> what do the others think?
> my 2 cents, michael
> [1] we are right now dealing with a client that says: it's much more 
> important to have a website exactly looking like their brochures, 
> usability is not important(tm). not even think about accessibility.

Absolutely! This is why I'm not proposing huge changes, just bits of 
text/links here and there.


> Shadi Abou-Zahra schrieb:
>> Hi Michael,
>> Why "no" and why to both? Here are some thoughts for "yes" but please 
>> feel free to put counter arguments:
>> - Use dark text on light background
>>  -- it is a WAI-AGE requirement
>>  -- it is backed by WCAG 2.0
>>  -- it seems like a good practice for usability
>>  -- we can easily do it on the tickets page
>> - Ensure links change colour after visit
>>  -- it is a WAI-AGE requirement
>>  -- it seems like a good practice for usability
>> PS: "ensure links change color after visit" is one of the requirements 
>> that WAI-AGE plans to submit to WCAG WG as possible future techniques.
>> Thanks,
>>   Shadi
>> Michael Stenitzer wrote:
>>> two votes for "no" although i usualy like the second one (changing 
>>> color for visited links) but i think it is more of an usability issue.
>>> /michael
>>> Shadi Abou-Zahra wrote:
>>>> Dear group,
>>>> In response to my action items [1], I looked for WCAG 2.0 Techniques 
>>>> that match the following user requirements identified by the WAI-AGE 
>>>> Literature Review:
>>>>  - Use dark text on light background
>>>>  - Ensure links change colour after visit
>>>> For the first user requirement I found the following Advisory 
>>>> Techniques that are *being planned* (they are currently listed as 
>>>> "future links"):
>>>> ## Under SC 1.4.3 and SC 1.4.6
>>>> - Using colors that are composed predominantly of mid spectral 
>>>> components for the light and spectral extremes (blue and red 
>>>> wavelengths) for the dark
>>>> - Using a light pastel background rather than a white background 
>>>> behind black text to create sufficient but not extreme contrast
>>>> I did not find relevant Techniques for the second requirement.
>>>> Question for the group:
>>>> - Should we implement the requirement "Use dark text on light 
>>>> background" on the Demo?
>>>> - If yes, then where? Some suggestions include the "Terms and 
>>>> Conditions" or the "Buy tickets ..." areas on the tickets page.
>>>> Regards,
>>>>   Shadi
>>>> [1] <http://www.w3.org/2009/02/11-badtf-minutes#ActionSummary>

Shadi Abou-Zahra - http://www.w3.org/People/shadi/ |
   WAI International Program Office Activity Lead   |
  W3C Evaluation & Repair Tools Working Group Chair |
Received on Friday, 13 February 2009 12:36:48 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.1 : Tuesday, 6 January 2015 19:58:51 UTC