Re. Customizable interfaces

Subject: Re. Customizable interfaces
From: geoff-h -at- MTL -dot- FERIC -dot- CA
Date: Mon, 15 Apr 1996 09:18:44 -0500

David Jones asked for the best color combination for online
text. David, nothing works as universally as black text on
a white background: it's always the most legible
combination, and even if the users think it's drab, they
can at least read the information. Why is this so? Black
and white offers the maximum possible contrast between
signal and noise (field and ground, if you prefer).

Nonetheless, if there's any way you can let users customize
the display colors, do so. CCMail drives me batty because
it offers so little control, and if you make your customers
feel this way, you're not doing your employer any favors.
If you _do_ let the audience customize the display, always
provide a reset button that sends them back to black and
white (or your own default choice): it's surprisingly easy
to choose color combinations that make it impossible to
read the text. (Happened to me once on a monochrome laptop.
Ugh!)

--Geoff Hart @8^{)} geoff-h -at- mtl -dot- feric -dot- ca
Disclaimer: Speaking for myself, not FERIC.

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