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vB's link color - Consider changing to differentiate from text.

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  • vB's link color - Consider changing to differentiate from text.

    Although many people (probably the vast majority) leave their browser prefs with their default settings "show links as underlined", some people (like me) choose to set link prefs to "hover".

    Although I don't have any real problem determining what are links on vB's site -- and then distinguishing links from text, often I have to infer that there is a link when someone says click here, since upon immediate view, it all blends as one block of black text for me -- based on my link-display preferences setting to "hover". Context then tells me, hover over the word "here" and see if it's a link. It usually is.

    It strikes me as odd that you would select your link color to be black and your text color to be black as well. Is there a reason behind this?

    As I have discussed before with wluke in another thread (in Hacks forum), it would not be adequate to say "then change your browser settings to 'underline' " -- since the intent of Microsoft and Netscape has been to give browser users an option to view links without underlines -- all across the web. If there was no demand for such an option, this preferences setting would not exist in these mainstream popular browsers.

    Thus, may I suggest that, in order to improve usability on your site for the largest possible constituency, you should select a link color that is different from your text color. It would be just one small step for mankind

    Thank you.
    .

  • #2
    Isn't it alreay different?

    A:link, A:visited, A:active {
    COLOR: #000020;
    }
    That isn't black - it's more like blue.

    Or do your options with hover etc make it the same?

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    • #3
      James, this is post 1 of 3, to show you relevant file attachments:

      > A:link, A:visited, A:active -- COLOR: #000020;
      > Isn't it already different?
      > That isn't black - it's more like blue.

      I checked out link color #000020; It's so close to black as to be really indistinguishable from black, to my eyes at least. (Maybe it's time for me to consult with smachol?) (see attach 1 for its relative values to black)

      > Or do your options with hover etc make it the same?

      Sorry, maybe that part was not clear. Hovering over any link displays as red -- so clearly distinguishable from the text at that point -- but this is once I have already inferred it's a link to cause me to hover and check.

      I know you can't customize the vB site just for me (I may be a pain, but I'm not that demanding), but maybe a group of you could consider making the link color a bit more distinguished in value or hue from black?
      .

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      • #4
        Here are my link color prefs in IE 5.5 (Windows 2000)... I'm pretty sure this is the default setting...
        .

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        • #5
          And here is my IE "Underline links?" setting, just for drill...
          .

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          • #6
            That's why - that setting overrides anything the page has set. Links are underlined by default, and that overrides it, leaving you with an underline only on hover (if then).

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            • #7
              Originally posted by tubedogg
              That's why - that setting overrides anything the page has set. Links are underlined by default, and that overrides it, leaving you with an underline only on hover (if then).
              Right, I get that. I intentionally choose "hover" because I just prefer not having to see underlines everywhere. But the vast majority of websites use a link color that is noticebaly different in color or value from the dominant text color, which makes identification of links easy. This is why I said above, there's a better solution than suggesting "don't surf the web with that browser preference". Am I the only user of vB.com that finds the choice of link color here annoyingly confusing? (Maybe so...
              .

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              • #8
                Personally it doesn't bother me (obviously ). But I also think that the links are different - they are underlined, which goes a long way towards usability, more than a different color would. Those that choose to override that with their browser can do so, but I don't think that it means that a site should change because of it. You can also override all of the colors in a page and make everything (links and all) the same color in your browser's settings, but if you then can't distinguish links is it the site owner's responsibility?

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                • #9
                  I have to say they look nothing like black from here...perhaps it's my screen. They are more like navy blue than anything else for me, then they go bright red on hover.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by JamesUS
                    I have to say they look nothing like black from here...perhaps it's my screen. They are more like navy blue than anything else for me, then they go bright red on hover.
                    Thanks for taking a look, James & tubedogg. I did go look at this page and the color #000020 jpg attachment on 4 different monitors. I think, judging by very little response to this issue from other users, most (if not all!) consider this a non-issue. That's cool But here's my "report" anyway:

                    1) my regular workstation monitor - 17" Viewsonic - with brightness turned up all the way, contrast set to normal. I still had a hard time differentiating between black text and the dark navy blue link color. Maybe my monitor is out of calibration.

                    2) 2nd PC workstation, 17" Viewsonic - with brightness turned up all the way, contrast set to normal. This monitor had a little more brightness to it, and I could see a difference, but I didn't find it to be an easily distinguishable difference based upon glancing between links and text. Though I am a graphic artist as well as information designer by trade, and my eyes test excellent, I am obviously in a minority here. I think it's hard to distingusih.

                    3) Toshiba laptop - similar to 2) above

                    4) Mac 21" Apple monitor. Since Mac displays are brighter by default, I was able to see slightly better color differentiation on this monitor.

                    In the end, this is all rather like splitting hairs, I know that -- but different hairs for each of us:

                    For you guys, it sounds like: "the colors ARE different. And you are not a typical web viewer since you have set your prefs to hover. So that is your choice and no one else in complaining". That makes sense.

                    My perspective is: even if all users are happy and have no complaints, the usability could be improved by making the difference more easily distinguishable. It had to have been an aesthetic choice for someone to initially choose color #000020 as your link color, and I can only guess they wanted it to be only a slight difference in value and hue from black. Then from there it has just become the accepted norm. Even so, I think it is an unfriendly link color for all reasons previously mentioned. But okay, I'm not convincing anyone, so end of story. Thanks again for at least looking, comparing, and dialoguing with me on this.

                    Richard
                    .

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