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Thread: Accessibility of the new site

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  1. #1
    practical experience, FTW
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    Accessibility of the new site

    I'm having huge problems with the new site. It's all very low-contrast with wildly inconsistent font sizes. I have a visual processing issue which makes it difficult to pick out things against a cluttered background.

    I can't read the blue/black text on dark grey, which includes post previews and the reps stuff under settings. The grey background for the post editor is not as bad, but it is sub-optimal.

    Blue links against grey/blue is also difficult, so I find it very difficult to find useful information from the board pages: bolded threads are fine, the rest of the threads I can't see the thread title for the mass of "started by" and the rest of it in almost the same fontsize and much more readable black colour.

    The ratio of content-to-whitespace doesn't help, making parts feel very cluttered compared to the empty space elsewhere.

    Quoted text is impossibly small, as is all the navigation stuff at the top of the page (below the post new thread button, above the actual threads), the button text, and thread display options at the bottom, but text in the editing window is huge.

    I raised the colour scheme issue in the My AW is Different thread and it got lost in the noise. I get that adding smilies is probably very easy, and there's a millionbillion things to sort out still, but it's super-frustrating to see the trivia being acknowledged and tweaked while accessibility issues are left in limbo

    An idea of time scale for when skins/more consistent font sizes will be ironed out would really help. I can be super-patient about this sort of thing, but hanging on for unspecified/indefinite amounts of time is not fun. Bottom line is I can't read the site well enough to play right now.

  2. #2
    Mostly harmless SuperModerator dpaterso's Avatar
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    Just asking... if you haven't already tried this...

    When you select My Profile at the top of the screen, then select the big green Customize My Profile button to the right, does changing any of the color values in the data fields (and saving this) make anything more clear?

    I'm slightly disappointed that some of these options (e.g. Page Background and Content Background colors) are completely ignored by my browser when I change them, but who knows what tinkering around with values like Font Family Size and Page Link Color might get ya.
    Edited: ignore, I'm talking nonsense.

    Just adding for fun: I dunno what text size you have your browser set to, but I changed my default font to 18 point, and I also hit Ctrl-plus to zoom in one step when I'm on the AW board, which makes everything a better readable size for my getting-old eyeballs.

    My background color settings in Windows are RGB 192 220 192 (if you speak that language ) which I find I can use happily for hours at a time without eyestrain, but I just can't duplicate this here. My Page Background and Content Background values are set to #c0dcc0 (which is 192 220 192 in hex) but this just doesn't take. Edited: ditto.

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    Last edited by dpaterso; 05-25-2015 at 12:05 PM.
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  3. #3
    'Twas but a dream of thee El Jefe MacAllister's Avatar
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    Muppster, I'm still working on stuff like the cell padding on some of the page menus, the font size, and so forth. There's a list nearly as long as my arm.

    There are about a zillion individual settings for every page you see, and it takes time, and some of it I'm still looking for how to do it. Stuff like fixing the smilies is already a known quantity, and doesn't have to be done over and over for posts, threads, profiles, activity stream, forum menus, etc.

    I know it's frustrating, and I'm sorry it's taking so long.

  4. #4
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    ...so is there a time scale for a non-low-contrast colour scheme...? Or is it a case of tough typos for anyone who can't deal with the less-than-ideal default during extended construction? Because that kind of leaves me feeling like I'm the problem and not exactly welcome here.

  5. #5
    Such a nasty woman SuperModerator Old Hack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Muppster View Post
    ...so is there a time scale for a non-low-contrast colour scheme...? Or is it a case of tough typos for anyone who can't deal with the less-than-ideal default during extended construction? Because that kind of leaves me feeling like I'm the problem and not exactly welcome here.
    You're not a problem, and of course you're welcome here.

    The time-scale for all of the changes is "as soon as we can get it done". The work is moving ahead, there's a huge amount to be done, and it has to be done logically and carefully, to make sure nothing gets forgotten about and that all the changes work together.

    Is the current colour-scheme a lot different for you? Because for me, it looks just like the old AW did. If you want to change it Derek (dpaterso) has already given you good advice on how to customise your profile to change background colour and so on; and Mac has explained that getting everything done is going to take time, and has apologised for that.

    Perhaps you could take a few days away from AW and do some writing while we work on sorting it out? Not that I'm telling you to leave: but if it's so difficult for you here at the moment, it might be the best thing to do while the work proceeds.

  6. #6
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    It's text-on-dark grey background that's impossible, and nothing I can do in the settings changes that. In Firefox I can override all colours but that creates its own problems: it also overrides text colour and makes inline crit comments impossible to pick out.

    I've been taking time away since the upgrade because it's no fun critting when it's so hard to read previews etc (I'm dyslexic, so I put serious effort into proof-reading my posts).

    Please could you just change that grey in the current skin to something lighter, just as the under-construction temporary setting? At the moment it's like you've torn out the lifts and told folks using wheelchairs to haul themselves up the stairs or stay away for an unspecified period of time.

    I do appreciate the apology and complexity of the problem, the fact remains "normal" folks can and are having fun here while I'm being excluded because of a disability.

  7. #7
    Such a nasty woman SuperModerator Old Hack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Muppster View Post
    It's text-on-dark grey background that's impossible, and nothing I can do in the settings changes that. In Firefox I can override all colours but that creates its own problems: it also overrides text colour and makes inline crit comments impossible to pick out.
    I don't see AW in those colours. It's the same almost-black text on a dove-grey-blue background for me, just as it was before. I wonder why it's displaying so dark on your computer? And if there's anything you can do about that? I know if I turn up the brightness of my screen it makes the background appear lighter, while the text remains the same: is it worth trying that? Sorry if I'm telling you obvious things, but it might be worth a try.

    I have a couple of problems with my vision and I have to say that on the whole, AW is just as easy for me to read now as it was before. The size of the text in the quotes is a little too small for me, but I think that's on the list of things to be addressed.

    I've been taking time away since the upgrade because it's no fun critting when it's so hard to read previews etc (I'm dyslexic, so I put serious effort into proof-reading my posts).

    Please could you just change that grey in the current skin to something lighter, just as the under-construction temporary setting? At the moment it's like you've torn out the lifts and told folks using wheelchairs to haul themselves up the stairs or stay away for an unspecified period of time.

    I do appreciate the apology and complexity of the problem, the fact remains "normal" folks can and are having fun here while I'm being excluded because of a disability.
    We're a family with dyslexia here, so I appreciate your struggles. But I can't make those changes for you: it's up to our admin team; and even so, I'm still confused about why the colours AW used were fine for you before, but now they're not, when they look exactly the same to me. Have you changed anything on your computer?

    While I appreciate this is difficult for you, I don't think the repeated disabled metaphors are helping. We're not making changes in order to offend you; and as you've already been advised, we're working on this as fast and as hard as we can; and we've acknowledged that you have a problem, and we will do all we can to resolve it.

  8. #8
    Herder of Hamsters AW Admin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Muppster View Post
    Please could you just change that grey in the current skin to something lighter, just as the under-construction temporary setting? At the moment it's like you've torn out the lifts and told folks using wheelchairs to haul themselves up the stairs or stay away for an unspecified period of time.

    I do appreciate the apology and complexity of the problem, the fact remains "normal" folks can and are having fun here while I'm being excluded because of a disability.
    1. I'm not sure you do appreciate the complexity of the problem. MacAllister and I both have jobs, as do all our mods. I'm not "having fun" at all, frankly. I'm working as hard as I can as fast as I can to make the site better for all our members.
    2. We're using software that is extraordinarily complex. Making modifications to fonts or a color modifies them elsewhere as well, even if we don't want to.
    3. Waving the disability flag and making remarks about "normals" isn't helping your case. One reason it's far more complex than you realize is that the 30-or so scripts (small programs) I wrote to assist in running the site and modifying the server all have to be re-written for the new software. These are scripts I wrote to make it possible for me to run the site and server despite being visually disabled, dyslexic and having serious RSI and carpal tunnel.
    4. Please check your local display settings as well as your Web browser settings. Consider using a bookmarklet like zapcolors in your Web browse to change colors locally.
    5. I'll start work on creating stylesheets for specific purposes as soon as I can, but that too is quite complicated and is going to have to wait.

  9. #9
    Transitioning Between Homes AW Moderator Maryn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Muppster View Post
    It's text-on-dark grey background that's impossible, and nothing I can do in the settings changes that.
    I confess that I am confused. In Quick Reply, I see black text on a pale blue-grey background, closer to white than anything else. The main colors on the screen as I compose this post include white below the text box (home of Post Quick Reply, Go Advanced, and Cancel) and surrounding the text box, the pale blue-grey which is the background color of the part where I type in the text, a somewhat darker but still fairly light blue-grey against which the icons for Bold, Italic, Font and Size, etc. are displayed, and a medium-intensity blue-grey across the top of the text box and appearing at the top of each post.

    In Go Advanced, the background of the post preview is the "somewhat darker but still fairly light blue-grey" mentioned above. The color in the composition box is the same as in Quick Reply.

    Color perception is, of course, the perfect example of qualia--nobody else can know exactly what color you see when you look at something, any more than they know how chocolate ice cream tastes or what roses smell like to you--but I don't see any colors I could possibly call dark grey against which there is text. I did ask one visually impaired member if she was able to see the board as well as before, and she noted the small text in composition but said the posts were readable, very much the same size and color as before.

    This makes me wonder if some attempt at color adjustment through the browser has fouled the default AW colors on your computer, leaving you with a different background color than others are seeing. Or is the issue with the preview being unreadable because of the background color and the composition box unreadable due to the size?

    Is it possible to use your computer's Print Screen function when you view an AW board with this dark background, then to post it at an image-sharing site to which you can link, so we can see it as it displays for you?
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  10. #10
    practical experience, FTW SianaBlackwood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Old Hack View Post
    If you want to change it Derek (dpaterso) has already given you good advice on how to customise your profile to change background colour and so on<snip>...
    I don't know about others, but for me that only seems to change colours for my profile page, not for the site in general. Is there a detail I missed or does it only work in some browsers?
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  11. #11
    Mostly harmless SuperModerator dpaterso's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SianaBlackwood View Post
    I don't know about others, but for me that only seems to change colours for my profile page, not for the site in general. Is there a detail I missed or does it only work in some browsers?
    I do not think the color options in My Profile > Customize My Profile are working yet, if that's what you mean.

    For me the best success is with Firefox, by selecting Options > Content > Colors button, changing the background color and unticking the "Use system colors" box. Chrome's color options have always been a pain, or non-existent, and alas Opera only seems to offer me (via Tools > Preferences > Webpages tab) "Choose preferred fonts and colors for pages without specific styles" -- which doesn't override the board's color background settings.

    I urge patience and faith, as said above, changes are still being applied.

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  12. #12
    Herder of Hamsters AW Admin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dpaterso View Post
    I do not think the color options in My Profile > Customize My Profile are working yet, if that's what you mean.

    For me the best success is with Firefox, by selecting Options > Content > Colors button, changing the background color and unticking the "Use system colors" box. Chrome's color options have always been a pain, or non-existent, and alas Opera only seems to offer me (via Tools > Preferences > Webpages tab) "Choose preferred fonts and colors for pages without specific styles" -- which doesn't override the board's color background settings.-Derek
    The profile settings are for your profile only, and other users have a setting in their profile to show your color changes or to show the site default.

  13. #13
    practical experience, FTW SianaBlackwood's Avatar
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    Zapcolors is my new favourite thing. Thanks!

    I tweaked it to have grey text on a black background and now I'm probably the happiest AW'er I've ever been.
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  14. #14
    Mostly harmless SuperModerator dpaterso's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SianaBlackwood View Post
    Zapcolors is my new favourite thing. Thanks!

    I tweaked it to have grey text on a black background and now I'm probably the happiest AW'er I've ever been.
    Does it work in all screens? Reason I ask is, I put the "zap white backgrounds" app (?) on my Bookmarks Toolbar and whenever I click this button when I'm browsing a thread, the page background goes to a light tan color, so that's nice, glare levels are reduced. But it doesn't always work -- the editor window I'm typing into now won't change, for example, it's still glaring white, or close to, maybe it's a light light gray, hard to tell.

    Here's what I mean: jpg snapshot

    When I started a new thread a short while ago, I noticed the editor window background was a darker gray that I couldn't override. This also happens when I select Advanced so I can preview before posting, e.g. this very post: jpg snapshot

    Again the "zap white backgrounds" app color setting is ignored, it affects the surrounding tray but not the actual edit window backgrounds.

    The above's for info only, I'm just curious as to what other folks are seeing or trying out.

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  15. #15
    practical experience, FTW SunshineonMe's Avatar
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    Thank you MacAllister for all your hard work. Is there a setting that just shows the posts I previously posted in?

  16. #16
    Such a nasty woman SuperModerator Old Hack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SunshineonMe View Post
    Thank you MacAllister for all your hard work. Is there a setting that just shows the posts I previously posted in?
    I'm not Mac, but I think I can help you.

    If you click on your user-name in any of the posts you've already made, and then select "view profile" (I think) from the little menu which pops up, you'll get to a page where all your recent posts are listed.

  17. #17
    Seashell Seller Layla Nahar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MacAllister View Post
    Muppster, I'm still working on stuff like the cell padding on some of the page menus, the font size, and so forth. There's a list nearly as long as my arm.

    There are about a zillion individual settings for every page you see, and it takes time, and some of it I'm still looking for how to do it. Stuff like fixing the smilies is already a known quantity, and doesn't have to be done over and over for posts, threads, profiles, activity stream, forum menus, etc.

    I know it's frustrating, and I'm sorry it's taking so long.
    um. Just want to say - Thank you for providing this amazing service
    Thank you for keeping it up to date
    Thank you for the work you and the others are doing to make the new version appear more like the old one.
    (((hugs))) & stuff

    Quote Originally Posted by Muppster View Post
    ...so is there a time scale for a non-low-contrast colour scheme...? Or is it a case of tough typos for anyone who can't deal with the less-than-ideal default during extended construction? Because that kind of leaves me feeling like I'm the problem and not exactly welcome here.
    I really hope you can come to appreciate how much of a favor the people who own/run this site are doing for us. I know it's different - I'm wishing things were more like they used to be, but -- I can say that any time I've tried to work with this sort of thing (databases, webpages other than my one line-by-line html ...) I've been overwhelmed by the work it takes.

    There will be others out there with similar difficulties to yours, but please try to be mindful of the dimensions of the task the administrators have here - and that they are offering this community to us at all.
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  18. #18
    Such a nasty woman SuperModerator Old Hack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Layla Nahar View Post
    I really hope you can come to appreciate how much of a favor the people who own/run this site are doing for us. I know it's different - I'm wishing things were more like they used to be, but -- I can say that any time I've tried to work with this sort of thing (databases, webpages other than my one line-by-line html ...) I've been overwhelmed by the work it takes.

    There will be others out there with similar difficulties to yours, but please try to be mindful of the dimensions of the task the administrators have here - and that they are offering this community to us at all.
    I didn't do any of the upgrade work, but as a mod I did get updated as the work went along. I knew it was going to be a big task, but I was amazed by how much had to be done, and the hours it took. The admins of this site were working through the night to get it back online, and weeks later are still working to get things done. It can't be done any quicker: every room has to be individually updated, and there are all sorts of details to tweak and correct; and there are millions of comments to index and they have to be done in batches, to make sure things didn't get lost: it requires long hours of meticulous attention to detail. I don't think I could do it.

    I am in awe of them, and very grateful.

    Thing is, I can also see how our members, who couldn't get the updates (we'd have all been done for spamming if they'd have been sent to everyone), might think that it's just a case of changing a few colours or altering a few font-sizes, and that that can't be too difficult, surely? If you've not been involved in the process, you are unlikely to understand the huge scale of it. So. It's really nice of you to say this, Layla, and I bet our lovely Admin is pleased by it.

  19. #19
    Preparing for winter VeryBigBeard's Avatar
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    I wanted to chime in and thank the mods, Mac, Medievalist and all the other admins for all the hard work both in the upgrade and ongoing. Yay!

    It bears mentioning that Muppster's crits are amazing--some of the most thorough and thoughtful I've read in SYW. Please don't go! I'd miss reading your posts immensely. It's understandably frustrating if they're hard to write in the new format, but the hours spent doing it are absolutely worth it. I've learned a lot reading them and I imagine I'm not alone.

  20. #20
    Take me to your reader PastyAlien's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by VeryBigBeard View Post
    I wanted to chime in and thank the mods, Mac, Medievalist and all the other admins for all the hard work both in the upgrade and ongoing. Yay!

    It bears mentioning that Muppster's crits are amazing--some of the most thorough and thoughtful I've read in SYW. Please don't go! I'd miss reading your posts immensely. It's understandably frustrating if they're hard to write in the new format, but the hours spent doing it are absolutely worth it. I've learned a lot reading them and I imagine I'm not alone.
    +1 to all of this (bolding mine).

    I thought I'd take a few screen shots to illustrate what I think Muppster is seeing (I'm seeing most of it the way Muppster describes), since it sounds as though these aren't issues for everyone.

    Quote Originally Posted by Muppster View Post
    I can't read the blue/black text on dark grey, which includes post previews
    Screengrab of Preview in editing mode:



    Quote Originally Posted by Muppster View Post
    and the reps stuff under settings.
    Screengrab of reps in Settings:



    Quote Originally Posted by Muppster View Post
    The grey background for the post editor is not as bad, but it is sub-optimal.
    Screengrab of post editor:



    Quote Originally Posted by Muppster View Post
    Blue links against grey/blue is also difficult,
    Screengrab of link:



    Screengrab of what happens when I override AW colors to black text on white backround (in Firefox). Unfortunately the post editor buttons get all screwy and the text color option disappears, making critting (in-line LBLs) almost impossible:



    Quote Originally Posted by Muppster View Post
    so I find it very difficult to find useful information from the board pages: bolded threads are fine, the rest of the threads I can't see the thread title for the mass of "started by" and the rest of it in almost the same fontsize and much more readable black colour.

    The ratio of content-to-whitespace doesn't help, making parts feel very cluttered compared to the empty space elsewhere.
    Screengrab of SYW board:




    Quote Originally Posted by Muppster View Post
    Quoted text is impossibly small,
    Screengrab of quoted text (in preview) which looks normal to me.



    Quote Originally Posted by Muppster View Post
    as is all the navigation stuff at the top of the page (below the post new thread button, above the actual threads), the button text, and thread display options at the bottom, but text in the editing window is huge.
    Screengrab of navigation stuff, which also looks normal to me.


    Is this what the colours look like to you, Muppster? Does it look different to everyone else?
    Last edited by PastyAlien; 05-29-2015 at 04:38 AM.


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  21. #21
    'Twas but a dream of thee El Jefe MacAllister's Avatar
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    Muppster, are you using the mobile template, or the regular AW template? What device and OS are you using?

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