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Comment on "Too Much Contrast on Web Pages"
by Scott Stevenson — Apr 27
@Jacob Rus: That is, changing to a light yellow from a light grey, both at the same lightness (and therefore the same lightness contrast with the text), might change the readability, etc
When I originally wrote this up, I didn't realize there would be such a strong reaction to the specific terms used. I'm open to the idea that perhaps "contrast" is not really the proper word. In fact, I formally retract the statement about the light bulb metaphor. My mistake.

My point is that I don't think it's necessarily true that what works well on a printed page works well on the screen. A white pixel is not at all the same thing as a piece of white paper, it's just that they happen to share some qualities. A white piece of paper will not illuminate a dark room.

There are surely scientific studies on this topic
No doubt. But please understand that I didn't just choose the color scheme at random. It was a conscious choice after a lot of experimentation on multiple displays. I realize some people may disagree, but that's why I plan to add the JavaScript code to flip the styles.

This is the first and only email I've ever received on this topic, so it's not as if I've been tuning out the issue. I really do want to make it work well, but I just don't think it's as simple as "make it black on white." There different variables, some of them cognitive. For example, anti-aliased text is technically blurry, but people tend to prefer smoothed text because it's less distracting.
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