# On the current color scheme, and why it sucks

Being color blinded is not very easy. You end up wearing black shirts and blue jeans, because it's easier. When you look at a computer monitor sometimes the red and green mix together, all sort of pale colors (from aqua, pale grays such as off-white, and so on) mix together, and many more problems.

Right now it is impossible for me to see if there is a link in the text. I have to guess my way with the mouse and see if something underlines as I hover it. I don't know whether or not the color scheme gives the same color to links, or just a very slight shade, but it's very difficult to discern these things.

This is even worse because the previous version of the site had a clear distinction between the links, the visited links, and the text. So it's not only confusing it's actually stressful.

In addition to the previously remarked "favorite tags" background color, is it possible to make the links colored in a slightly more discernible color? I'd love to be able and distinguish links from text again.

• Can anyone even confirm whether or not links appear in a different color? I want to know if it's my eyes, or the site... – Asaf Karagila Jun 25 '13 at 16:41
• Unvisited links are blue. Visited links seem to be nearly the same color as plain text. The color scheme is different in meta and the regular site, with links in meta being red (which in my experience gives colorblind people more trouble than blue). – Peter Shor Jun 25 '13 at 16:47
• @Peter: It's a lot more than just the color. It's about the surrounding colors as well, and the contrast between them. But thanks a lot! – Asaf Karagila Jun 25 '13 at 16:48
• Hmpf. Suddenly I notice that the unvisited links are blue and very different than the text. But the links which bothered me a lot are those that I am sure that I haven't visited for several months (if not more), so it doesn't make much sense. In either case, the color scheme is to blame, not me. Color blinded people are easily distracted! – Asaf Karagila Jun 25 '13 at 16:53
• Your browser remembers the links, and it easily has a good enough memory to remember things for months. :-) – Peter Shor Jun 25 '13 at 16:57
• I'm color blind as well. The most serious issue with this is that I have trouble distinguishing the red and green used in traffic lights in Europe. – Andrés E. Caicedo Jun 25 '13 at 16:57
• @Andres: Israel upgraded the traffic lights a couple years ago to a shade of green which is very bright and easily distinguishable from the red light. I was great, even though I don't drive. – Asaf Karagila Jun 25 '13 at 17:01
• – François G. Dorais Jun 25 '13 at 17:59
• @François: That's awesome. – Asaf Karagila Jun 25 '13 at 19:35
• Dear Asaf, I had a similar experience with some links (i.e. barely noticing them). I don't know if was simply the missing underline, or a body snatcher, or, ..., but like you I was a bit surprised to learn that apparently nothing (other then some missing underlines) had changed. Cheers, – Emerton Jun 26 '13 at 3:03
• As a lazy, single, not-colorblind person, I often end up wearing black shirts and blue jeans, too. – Federico Poloni Jul 1 '13 at 10:45
• I have to echo Matt's comment below: the tagged-interested background color is too dim to be noticed, both on my laptop and on my desktop. Any chance of changing that to something more noticeable? – Arturo Magidin Jul 1 '13 at 18:50

I have quite good eyes, and I have to say that in order to tell if any of the highlighted favorite tags are actually highlighted I tip my laptop at an absurd angle. Could this shade be any closer to white? This seems to defeat the purpose.

I had this same complaint at a different SE site and learned how to manually fix it, but it is kind of a pain for non-tech nerds. You need to get an add-on to your browser that allows you to edit CSS such as StyleBot. If you use Firefox or Chrome, this should be no problem. Maybe a 10 second hassle.

Once you have this, open up the main MathOverflow page and click the CSS edit button that should now appear. Somewhere it should say "Edit CSS." Click this and a blank text editing space should appear. Add the following simple line:

.tagged-interesting { background-color: #EEFF00 !important; }

This will make it bright yellow. You can exchange #EEFF00 for any HTML color you want, but this is what I use.

This is a pain that shouldn't be necessary, but it will be a fix for now. Even if they change it in the future, it might be some other color that other people don't like, so I thought I'd make this answer.

• Hi Matt, thanks for the very useful tip. I agree that now the tagged-interesting color is completely useless, I do not distinguish tagged questions even on my desktop...by the way, do you know of a CSS editor for Safari which can remember the editing (so far, I have only found live editor, meaning I should launch them each time I visit MO). Thanks! – Filippo Alberto Edoardo Jun 28 '13 at 10:35

The link colors are the same as the previous MO. link color: #22229B, visited color: #222244. I copied all the styling from the old MO to the new one for visual consistency.

However, during the css copying process I did miss a line on the link styling in the Q&A body text. I forgot to make them under-lined. I've added the under-line treatment on our dev server, the change will be on live after our next production build. This applies to both the main MO site and its Meta.

• That would be helpful! But I still feel that something has changed. Is it the background color? I don't know. But something is not as it was before. – Asaf Karagila Jun 25 '13 at 19:35
• @AsafKaragila I copied the styling from previous site's css. So they should be all there now that I've added the underline. You can reference the old site's style via this archived link for comparison. – jzy Jun 25 '13 at 20:49
• Hmpf. You are right. It bothers me now, even more than before, why things look different. I feel like there is some reenactment of some Invasion of the Body Snatchers scene here... all that's missing is that I find a pod in your user profile soon! :-P – Asaf Karagila Jun 25 '13 at 20:59
• I am sure there is more grey in the colour scheme now as well. Some of the text is lighter. Could that be what you are noticing? – Jason Polak Jun 25 '13 at 23:04
• Are there any plans for a new style for MO? It's currently looking a bit clunky. (Also, the chat theme is a hybrid between Grainy and the MO logo) – Manishearth Jun 26 '13 at 1:10
• @Jason, I agree. For example, the comment scores (for $< 5$ upvotes) appear "dimmer" (lower contrast relative to the background) than they did previously. – cardinal Jun 26 '13 at 2:50
• @Asaf, maybe it looks different because of the font size/type. – Kaveh Jun 26 '13 at 4:18
• @Manishearth: I disagree. I feel that if there is anything which needs revising in the graphical styling of MO, then it's a minor thing (like underlines), not a whole new style. – Asaf Karagila Jun 26 '13 at 6:11
• @Kaveh: That is a possibility. After all, not all sans serif fonts are the same font... – Asaf Karagila Jun 26 '13 at 6:13
• @AsafKaragila What about making the "accepted answer" style subtler? Currently the green background is in stark contrast with the rest of the network. Not that that's necessarily a bad thing, but it looks strange to me. – Manishearth Jun 26 '13 at 8:09
• @Manishearth: Tough luck. MathOverflow is not part of the network. And if it is, then it is certainly the weird kid which nobody wants to sit next to in class. I don't see why MO should conform to the SE design rather than stay with its previous look. – Asaf Karagila Jun 26 '13 at 8:17
• @AsafKaragila Sure, wasn't saying you should change it. Just that it always looked a bit weird to me :) – Manishearth Jun 26 '13 at 8:18
• (technically MO is part of the network now, though it probably is a "special" site like AskPatents and AU; with different treatment and some underlying agreement) – Manishearth Jun 26 '13 at 8:19