Black on White and White on Black

November 3, 2009 · 9 comments

5-720-4048  stock photo of Still life, Cup and chopsticks

If you are a frequent visitor here you’ll notice a new look. Black text on white background.

After many years with a signature black background, this might seem a drastic, even risky move. Why then change? The primary reason is readability. With my increasing emphasis on blogging and social media in addition to the stock image search and portfolio presentation, there is more and more text on the pages. Several people commented privately that the white text black background was hard to read and he whole point of the exercise is for people to be able to read easily.

Commentary on web-design shows this is a widespread point of view for pages that are text-heavy; see the extended comments on 456 Berea Street. Several research projects on the topic are described in Joe Dolton’s blog on Accessible Web Design and at length in comments on Stack Overflow.

You can still see the old color scheme on my Photoshelter archive where the images are emphasized and there is little text.

Let me know what you think by voting on the poll in the sidebar.

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

1 bkwine November 4, 2009 at 9:58 am

I think your choice is the right one, as I've commented here: http://wine-pictures.blogspot.com/2009/11/david…. I am likely to do the same. (fyi, oddly, the disqus login didn't work when posting a comment.)

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2 Richard November 4, 2009 at 5:57 am

I like the look David. I came to a similar conclusion over a year ago when I switched my whole site from a black / gray theme to white. The dark stuff was just too detracting from the images plus was real hard to read.

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3 bkwine November 4, 2009 at 1:58 am

I think your choice is the right one, as I've commented here: http://wine-pictures.blogspot.com/2009/11/david…. I am likely to do the same. (fyi, oddly, the disqus login didn't work when posting a comment.)

Reply

4 Richard November 3, 2009 at 9:57 pm

I like the look David. I came to a similar conclusion over a year ago when I switched my whole site from a black / gray theme to white. The dark stuff was just too detracting from the images plus was real hard to read.

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5 sambr November 3, 2009 at 4:23 pm

i like this version better. much cleaner. easier on the eyes. flows better.

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6 David Sanger November 3, 2009 at 4:15 pm

I remember too that Oliver Reichenstein of Information Architects had a big writeup on their online newspaper project From Black to White: iA redesigns Krone.at with before and after examples.

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7 fabiopili November 3, 2009 at 3:18 am

Much better, David. Cleaner and more readable. Keep up the great work. I'm enjoying reading your articles.

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