Nov. 14th, 2011

facetofcathy: A multicoloured fractal image. (My Icon on the AO3)
I decided to sit down and do some studying about web design. I want to skin the AO3 so I can use it with comfort, and no current skins offers that for me. Eventually, I'd like to offer some public skins as well. I'll post about this as I go, but for now, I want to focus on the site as it is today from a fact-based perspective.

The original default gave me a migraine. That's a rare thing for me to get triggered that way. I've since seen many other reports of the same effect, so I would personally appreciate it if the meme that the only thing wrong was one comma in the mobile skin and all other complaints were just about personal taste would vanish in a puff of grey smoke. My reaction was real, and so was that of other people.

I wanted to know why this happened, because I was guessing that the problem was contrast, or maybe the gradient shading on buttons and all the drop shadows, but I wasn't sure. The site default has since been changed to a white background and text that is black or near black in most cases, and I tried it, and it is a little better for me, but I would never be able to use it for long periods of time.

I conducted some tests on the current default skin... )

ETA: If you want to read my long feekback on this, I left a comment on the Intro to Skins post. Since then, with very, very little time spent online, I've sent in 3 support request. One about what happens when the html parser makes your comment too long, one on errors in the default and other skin coding that make keyboard navigation (accessibility!) impossible or difficult, and one on how the skin picker in the footer has no go back to my own skin function.

I did read about a couple of more posts saying how people just didn't like it, there's no accessibility issues. Um, yeah. Okay. Don't let reality get in the way of your stanning there, folks. And by all means, assume your experience is universal, that seems to have been the design principle number one.

ETA October 15, 2012: Since I just made this public and re-read, how about an update?

That bug about big comments I reported? I totally figured that out myself! Go me. Don't have a clue if the explanation I provided led to a fix, but hey, I figured it out. (I also figured out a couple of other bugs and provided fixes. Now, if only crowd sourcing was a little easier than shouting down the well to the little man who has to take dictation and then relay it to the elves actually building this thing.)

The bug about keyboard accessibility led to a whole host of fixes that were enthusiastically worked on by testers and coders. People want to do things right, if only you build them the framework to do it on.

None of the existing colour contrast issues I talk about in this post have been fixed. Subsequent additions to the archive (stats pages) brought back from the dead the grey background problems.
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