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Mama Deb
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Mama Deb [userpic]
An open plea

Okay, people. This is a plea. Really.

Pretty colors are nice, but you need real contrast for your page to be readable. You also need a font size bigger than nine.

Right now, I've seen two recs for The Late Night Visit, or Why Jo Decided to Kill Off Someone Else Instead and from what I could get from the first couple of paragraphs, it's worth the recommendation.

But then my eyes started to yell at me and I had to stop. Yes, I can and will do things to make it readable - Mozilla will do that for me. But if I have to do that, the page design is not as good as it could be. The small font and the light purple over light azure are uncomfortable. Even when I increased the font size by 150%, it was still difficult to read. The colors are lovely. I'd buy a skirt or curtains with that color scheme. But I'm not reading those.

eta : Once I told Mozilla to use my default colors (black print/white bg) and to increase the font size by 120%, I found that those who recommended the story were right. It was wonderful.


If you add ?style=mine to the end of the URL, it will display it in the style of your own comments page.

I'd forgotten about that, but as you can see, I had other ways.

That wasn't my point. My point is that livejournals should be readable.

And, yes, if mine isn't, please tell me and I'll take steps to change it.

(no subject) - (Anonymous)

Thank you. I can't take credit - it's a barely tweaked S2 style color variation. I just made the link colors more distinct (something I think is is very important.)

Once I came across a fanfic site that appeared to be a plain black page. I discovered that if I highlighted the entire page, I could read it. Black text on a black background. The site was titled something like, "A Shadow's Hiding Place."

Some people try too hard.

I haven't updated my site in forever. But one thing I'm happy about is that it's relentlessly plain. I figure people come there for the stories, and no story was ever improved by odd colors.

aieeee! That page is a crime against humanity, or at least against the web-reading subset thereof. :/

(There's also a default to make all journal entries (but, sadly, not the main pages) use ?style=mine, btw. And, while I strongly suspect that a bit of user CSS would solve the problem of the main pages, that's an awful lot of effort for people who apparently don't want their journals to be read anyway.)

If she writes stories, she presumably wants them read. I read things mostly on my friends page so it's my own format that I see, but I read a lot of RPGs and those tend to be read best on their own friends pages, or on the friends page of one of the characters. If those pages are unreadable (tiny print or poor contrast or just unpleasant (to me) color combinations), I won't bother.

The story is funny and well-written. It should be given a more readable place to live.

I think the YELLOW bits are the worst part--I get to the point where I can read the azure and lavender, but the YELLOW!!! draws my eye and I lose track of what I was reading..

Yeah. As colors and in combination, they are *lovely*. Just not for a website - that yellow is distracting. And I'm old. I wear bifocals.

Oh, ow. And more ow.
I think this is the stuff that gives LJ the reputation as being for a bunch of little teens. Anyone over the age of 20 is going to go blind trying to read that.
Funny, I had the same experience with the yellow drawing my eyes away from the text.
The whole thing gave me something like vertigo.

Well, it actually *is* for a bunch of little teens. That's the scary part. But the ljs we read are written by adults, most of whom have a decent idea of how to do a webpage. I'm complaining now because it's so very rare for me to encounter a page like this.

I just cut and paste things into word documents.

I don't like it when people use html on their individual entries, making the text on my friends page too small to read. Also, one person on my Flist changes her font colour to one almost the same as my page, so it's just about invisible.

I do that, too. And then I either print them out or download them to my PDA. I do like portable fic. But this was short and I was going to spend the afternoon out and about.

A lot of the fic I read is on websites, rather than in ljs, so, yes, I agree with you more than even you want to know. I love pretty web pages, but dear (Deity of your choice), I hate trying to read a really great story with things like sparkles or snowflakes (or whatever) drifting across the page. I hate reading stories where there is virtually no contrast. I hate reading things where the prettiness of the page is a distraction. And it always makes me wonder if the author thinks her/his story needs to be distracted from.

Oh, well, such is life sadly. But I do agree with you, mamadeb! Reading stories is so much easier if the page they are on is not distracting.

Oh, goodness. Sparklies! If someone wants them on her homepage, I can't see a problem. On a story page...no, thank you.

The other solution to low contrast is highlighting. That does work, and I have used it.

Oh yuck.

A page has to be really, really enticing or important for me to reconfigure my browser on its behalf. I can't believe how much bad design (or lack of design) there is out there.

If my browser had a command that amounted to "render this page and is subpages but no other pages in the way I'm about to specify", I'd visit more of the design-impaired sites. But if I have to change font sizes nad color preferences and then change them back, I am unlikely to bother.