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My Biggest Complaint About Black Background Web Pages

Photos = Yes. Text = Nausea.

Don’t get me wrong, few things look as cool as really nice photos or graphical art against a web page with a black background. But throw in a long blog post or other article text and then you’re just killing me.

Seriously, I experience retinal pain when I come back to the real world of white background pages after viewing text on black backgrounds for even a second or two. In fact, I usually only spend a second or two on a black background page with lots of text because it’s too hard to read.

Once I hit a page that has a black background with lots of text I usually bail out quickly. But before I do bail, I try to remember to look away and let my eyes adjust before I look back at a white background or I feel like I might set off some kind of seizure.

I agree, lots of photos and other art look great on black backgrounds but if you’re going to do a lot of text, spare the eyes of your visitors. Forget heavy text blog posts or articles on a black background. It just doesn’t work. If you’re serious about what you’ve written give up the uber-cool artsy, mad-at-the-world thing for a minute and figure out how to incorporate readable text into your site so that people might actually read it.

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6 Comments

  1. i prefer white text on a black background. staring at a bright white screen for too long kills my eyes and the opposite is much more bearable.

  2. Strangely enough, I once read a study about the most favorable colors for readability for backgrounds and text on web pages. That study concluded that a yellow background with green text was the best for your eyes. Go figure.

    Talk about seriously making me puke.

  3. You should use mozilla firefox with the firebug extension.
    Then you can change all colors of a web page on the fly.

  4. I agree that black with white is hard on your eyes, there is a whole physcology to what is best for websites. For instance red screams buy! I used brown and off white on my site as more of a classy style. yellow and green may be best on your eyes but talk about Puke…it would make me run from a website

  5. Solution: Get off your butt and go outside instead of sitting online all day.

  6. Then don’t try MS DOS.

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