[fr] Vous avez vu la nouvelle version de Hangouts pour iOS? Texte blanc sur fond vert, donc lisibilité décrue, pour le texte de votre interlocuteur. Révolte! Je reviens à la version précédente...
I’m generally pretty good at dealing with my internal resistance to change when it comes to upgrading software. I know that we get used to a lot of things.
But Google have crossed the line with their new iOS version of hangouts. So, for the first time in my life, I’m actually downgrading the recently upgraded apps on both my iPhone and my iPad. I know it’s not a permanent solution, but maybe somebody at Google will realise that reading white text in a dark green bubble set against a light background makes for a rather unpleasant reading experience.
A picture is worth a thousand words, so head over to this review with screenshots to see what I mean (the one below is lifted from there). Sure, it’s pretty, but what about readable?
The old version of hangouts served similarly contrasted text for the whole conversation:
- your interlocutor’s words on a white/light background, with dark text
- your words in the same text colour but on a light green background, so slightly less contrast (you don’t read your words that much… right?)
Compare to now:
- your interlocutor’s words are white text on a dark green background, set against the light background of the app (reminder: this is the text you’ll be reading all the time)
- your text is dark on a light background
Too much contrast hurts legibility as much as not enough can. (Yes, the page is old and ugly.)
Check out some research:
From these results, one can say that contrast affects legibility, but unfortunately, it does not seem to be as simple as high contrast being better than low contrast. In the main experiment, GN/Y had the fastest RT’s, and in the control experiment, medium gray, and dark gray had the fastest RT’s. In neither experiment did the BK/W condition show the fastest RT’s. These results show that these participants had faster response times when more median contrasts were used. These results supported Powell (1990), who suggested avoiding sharp contrasts, but did not fully support Rivlen et al. (1990), who suggested maintaining high contrast.
According to a manual by AT&T; (1989), the direction of the contrast (dark on light, or light on dark) might also affect legibility. When light text is placed on a dark background the text may seem to glow and become blurred; this is referred to as halation, and it may make the text harder to read. Some evidence for an effect of halation was found in the current experiment.
(via Coding Horror)
You’d think they would have paid more attention to readability for an app many people (myself included) spend pretty much all day using. How did this get out of the door? And why is it still out there?
Give me a sec while I go grab my pitchfork, I’ll meet you down in the street.
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