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Author Topic: Do you ever test in High contrast mode?  (Read 2095 times)

mediaguycouk

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Do you ever test in High contrast mode?
« on: June 01, 2009, 05:46:19 AM »
Hello everyone! This morning I have devil eyes (all the white in my eye is bruised and red) following some laser eye surgery. My eyes are healing well and I'm back at work on my computer.

The trouble is that I'm swearing blindly at a few programmes today and the reason is that I've turned on High Contrast mode in XP / Vista.

There are some programmes that are just brilliant. For example Firefox detects the contrast mode change and removes stylesheets in webpages to make everything white on blank and incredibly clear. Firefoxes zoom mode is unbelievably good. The trouble is there are other programmes, like our ticketing system Remedy that are hopeless.

Some designers seem to like giving text boxes background colours so they can perfectly design their windows. Trouble is you colour a textbox as white and have black text on it. Turn on High Contrast mode and the background turns black and the text turns white, however if you have a picture then that remains. Ergo you have white text on a white background.

So as software designers do you even think of these things? I certainly meet people at university that say 'I don't need to test for accessbility as my target audience doesn't have these problems' but even though I'll probably only have this for a week this is really irritating.

I've even annoyed myself by programming a page in PHP that tells me if the files I'm adding to a database actually exist. Red is broken, green is working and at the moment it's just all black. Own goal for me.

(If you want to see high contrast mode then press Left Alt + Left Shift + Print Screen)

Graham
Learning C# - Graham Robinson

Eóin

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Re: Do you ever test in High contrast mode?
« Reply #1 on: June 01, 2009, 03:38:54 PM »
Fascinating question. Personally I tend to code my apps to have the most 'native' look possible which basically is my way of saying don't do anything custom or fancy.

I really feel programmers should leave those things to the users. I you make your app simple and play nice with the classic gray look and the XP look then you mostly get all the more recent Vista/Aero effects for free and users get to run 3rd Visual Styles when they feel the look of their desktop needs some spicing up. And most importantly (in my opinion) they get that consistent look across all their programs.

That said though I have just spotting an error on my part, a custom font color to distinguish some text only in certain cases messes up if the default text colour isn't balck, exactly the problem you've mentioned.

Guess it time to change that hard coded colour value to one from the system pallet.

justice

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Re: Do you ever test in High contrast mode?
« Reply #2 on: June 04, 2009, 04:59:58 AM »
I don't think webpages have a way to detect high contrast mode - it will be up to the browser to detect it and override styles I assume?

mediaguycouk

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Re: Do you ever test in High contrast mode?
« Reply #3 on: June 04, 2009, 05:44:17 AM »
I think you are right, and Firefox has been a god send in that context.

However I don't think it does anything more than change View > Page Style > Basic Page Style. So on websites it's just a case of using CSS properly and not using CSS styles to portray important information.

Ironically I've found one of the worst programs for this mode is Microsoft Office. It doesn't seem to turn black text to white automatically.
Learning C# - Graham Robinson