website color theory

Boycott Owl Jones

This is another UAPSA (and thus filed accordingly under the category of Public Service Announcements, and not Weekly Drivel®).

I try not to make a habit of reading Owljones.com, but once in a while–in a moment of weakness or temporary insanity–I make the mistake of stopping by the blog. I’m usually disappointed, but this time I was horrified. It seems as though Owl has decided to run with scissors and go against the flow (imagine that!) by assigning a black background to his website. Sensible and widely-accepted design principles will tell you that any dark background is bad enough, but at least most often a black background is accompanied by white text. So while it’s still hard on the eyes, it could be worse.  Like using neon green, for example, which is exactly what Owl did. The glare caused me to tap out before I could even read the entire entry, which I had somehow gotten sucked into reading. It was all I could do to leave a comment, to which Mr, Jones replied:

Clearly he is a stubborn man. Fortunately the Common Sense Cavalry, in the form of The River Damsel, rode in to back me up by attempting to talk some sense into Mr. Jones:

Her mostly sage words fell on deaf ears, although for a fleeting couple of moments Mr. Jones did assign yellow as his text color. And it helped, though only marginally so. I let him know as much and pleaded with him to listen to the River Damsel’s words of wisdom:

I don’t believe he took my suggestion to offer Owl Jones Contrast Diffusion Goggles seriously. I was serious. I wanted to go back and argue some more with him, but my eyes just couldn’t take it. This is the last comment in our discussion:

So what I would suggest to you all is to boycott Owljones.com.  If you’ve been there before, or are a regular, don’t go back. If you’ve never been, consider yourself lucky and keep it at that…at least until he changes his background to white, with black letters. And to those of you who are contemplating the use of a black background, please reconsider. If you really feel you must have a black background (highly discouraged) at the very least use white text.