Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Why colour matters

Colour on any website creates the first impression. Colour is very important not only visually but also impacts on accessibility and usability. It is the best way to easily guide and navigate your user through your site to where and what they are looking for. Such as for links, colour in this case would distinguish the links from regular text, if colour is indistinguishable we have to use additional tools such as bold, italic or underline . To be consistent with colour is very important so as to help the user to navigate with ease. Another implication of incorrect colour use through the web is with a user who may have a visual disability. This can be colour blindness to visual impairments from bad lighting or a reflective monitor from sunlight.

Due to the loss of certain visibility in a colour range, users are then not able to tell the difference between the colours. What happens with this is that there is then not enough contrast in a picture or difference between the text colour against the background colour.

As a designer you do not need to rule out all colour you just need to be careful and make sure there is significant enough contrast in foreground to background to make it distinguishable. A quick test is to preview your page in grey scale to see whether there is sufficient contrast on the page once the colour is removed.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

scrolling vs page turning

The main question int his debate with regards to print and web for this topic is where do we elicit more information and which is quicker?
So the debate comes down to turning a physical page in a book or scrolling down a web page. How does the eye follow the line and the progression down the page as opposed to starting a new page from the top.

When scrolling you do have the option of page scrolling which mimics pages and you have full page viewing but due to scrolling line by line you often have no proper indication to the beginning, middle or end of what you are reading. I find scrolling a lot slower than reading in print. Also it can be known to disrupt the perception of spatial layout due to the text constant movement. Due to this, often makes it harder for readers to grasp the full context of text.

Some studies done have found that 'paging' and 'scrolling' did not differ significantly. However the paging readers did get a better mental representation of the text as a whole and were better at locating information and remembering the central text ideas.

I'm still very old fashioned - give me a book any day over any web page.