I decided to follow up on my own thread regarding the color scheme, and test something up.

Using archive.org, I loaded a copy of MathOverflow from 2011, and it turns out that the questions in one's interesting tags look very different than they do today.

  1. MathOverflow 2011, "tagged-interesting" had a background color of #FDFFB3
  2. MathOverflow 2014, "tagged-interesting" has a background color of #F2F7FE

Using the wonders of MathJax, here is a hands-on comparison:

$$ \require{color} \begin{align} \bf\colorbox{#FDFFB3}{Hello!} &\bf \color{#FDFFB3}{Hello!}\\ \bf\colorbox{#F2F7FE}{Hello!} &\bf \color{#F2F7FE}{Hello!} \end{align} $$

Now, both are hard to read as text, but as a background color it looks better. Note that the top one is much more discernible than the bottom color which takes a lot of eye strain for me.

Using the colorbox command, here is an example of the difference between the colors. To drive the point home, I also included the word "Hello!" in the different colors on white backgrounds, to show that the so-called blue is closer to the background color than the so-called yellow.

MathOverflow was friendlier to my color blinded eyes. And in the past few months since the migration, it has been a physical eyesore for me to browse it, often missing questions under my favorite tags.

Is it PLEASE possible to restore the old colors to the scheme of events?

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Thanks for that hands-on comparison: it makes your point very, very effectively. $\endgroup$
    – Todd Trimble Mod
    Commented Feb 13, 2014 at 17:50
  • $\begingroup$ The light blue is easily discernible for me, the contrast to the background is stronger than on many other SE sites. The old yellow looks rather too extreme to me. Though especially with light colors this can look very different on different displays. There is also the option to exchange the CSS client-side, I have a Chrome extension to do that for SE lying around somewhere. $\endgroup$
    – user35354
    Commented Feb 13, 2014 at 17:50
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Screenshots of the difference: current - blue and old - yellow $\endgroup$
    – user35354
    Commented Feb 13, 2014 at 17:53
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @MadScientist: I thought it was my crummy display before, but I bought a very good Dell monitor recently, and it looks even worse (the brightness and contrast of the Dell is much better than I had before, and the "blue" became even lighter). I also use the site on my smartphone, and my [Windows 8] tablet quite frequently. Do I need to install CSS-changing scripts on each of these? Or do asking to restore MO to its original usability seem too much? (Thanks for the screenshots, by the way!) $\endgroup$
    – Asaf Karagila Mod
    Commented Feb 13, 2014 at 17:56
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @AsafKaragila : I have the same experience: my work monitor, the colors are somewhat discernible, but on my home monitor, which is a supposedly very good monitor, and my laptop screen, the light blue is too light. And I'm not colorblind by the way. The old yellow is not very attractive, but at least it did the job. An alternative solution would be to make this editable for users, but I guess that needs SE support. $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 13, 2014 at 18:20
  • $\begingroup$ @AsafKaragila Changing it globally makes sense if this is a problem for a large number of people. I can't really judge that, it looks fine for me but that doesn't really say much. There are probably some objective measures of contrast that one could use to see if the color is really problematic. $\endgroup$
    – user35354
    Commented Feb 13, 2014 at 18:49
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @MadScientist: If you look at Jin's answer to my previous thread (linked in the first line of my post), it is claimed that the styling was copied from the old version of MO. Apparently not so. $\endgroup$
    – Asaf Karagila Mod
    Commented Feb 13, 2014 at 19:31
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Either of the color schemes at Mad Scientist's links works for me. Since it seems some people find yellow better for the usability of the site, while the argument against yellow (so far) is just aesthetic, I'd give preference to usability and recommend changing to yellow. $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 13, 2014 at 19:44
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ On my screen, the recognizability of both background colors depends mostly on the angle under which I look at the screen -- viewed under a low angle, neither of them can be distinguished easily from the white background, and viewed under a right angle, both of them can. $\endgroup$
    – Stefan Kohl Mod
    Commented Feb 13, 2014 at 22:18
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ For me on my computer, the yellow is easily distinguishable at all angles, and the blue is nearly indistinguishable at most angles. $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 14, 2014 at 16:26
  • $\begingroup$ I'll make sure Jin sees this folks - it seems to be a recurring issue. We might be able to make some tweaks for those that have difficulty differentiating colors. $\endgroup$
    – Tim Post
    Commented Feb 15, 2014 at 14:17
  • $\begingroup$ Thank you, @Tim! You truly are an enchanter! $\endgroup$
    – Asaf Karagila Mod
    Commented Feb 15, 2014 at 14:18
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @Tim: It has been five months since this post was made; and roughly a year since other posts requesting minor changes in the color scheme of the site. I don't believe this change is that difficult that it takes a year to implement; and even if it's not on the top of the priorities, it's still probably a relatively quick and painless change. (And while we're at it, make the links more distinguishable in the comments, as another thread requests.) $\endgroup$
    – Asaf Karagila Mod
    Commented Jul 7, 2014 at 11:03


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