--- Comment #5 from Jared Zimmerman (WMF) <jared.zimmer...@wikimedia.org> ---
Hello all, while readability is rather subjective depending on eyesight,
brightness of screen, environmental conditions, screen type, etc.
Books aren't a great example since they aren't backlit, and most paper isn't
"bright white" its cream or off-white.
One of the issues with making a blanked statement like "use back everywhere" is
that if you follow though with that you can never use true black text as a way
of giving emphasis to elements that need it, and you are forced to rely on
other things like color fills, italics, bold, etc.
Gmail uses black for some, but not all elements for this reason, Facebook does
not use black for their main body text (its #333333 if you sample the computed
You can use a tool like
to see that pure black #000000 on #fffff comes out to a computed contrast ratio
of 21:1 where as #666666 on #ffffff is 5.7:1, well above the minimum and
approaching the "enhanced" contrast levels.
While I'm sure we're all able to find examples of people who's opinions are
that pure black on white are either easier to read or more difficult to read I
think in many cases it comes down to personal preference and what people are
To the flow specific comments, we here you, and flow is still in development,
we are working hard to make sure we balance readability with information
hierarchy, I believe we'll get to a good place with everyones feedback.
The argument about people should just turn down their monitor contrast works
both ways, if you find #666666 on #ffffff to be unreadable, perhaps your
monitor contrast is set too low.
When we made the lefthand navigation links dark grey as part of the first
iteration of the typography update beta feature
(https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Typography_Update) some argured that it was
lower contrast, even though it was a measurable increase in contrast from 7.9:1
to 19.4:1 so while we value readablity as one of the most important aspects of
designing for the huge ammounts of text on the sites.
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