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Author Topic: High Contrast setting & programs  (Read 1960 times)

Dormouse

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High Contrast setting & programs
« on: June 04, 2017, 05:02 PM »
I've recently developed what I hope is a temporary visual difficulty when using computers.
I have ended up trying the High Contrast setting on Windows, and the equivalent on Android & iOS (reverse colours). It has had the much welcomed, apparently usual, effect of improving the legibility of text and reducing eye strain.
I am much struck however by two things:
  • It is an extraordinarily crude, and not especially effective, way of tackling the problem. Photos are very very strange.
  • Many programs can't be set up to work properly with HC set. Some simply don't work. Some are illegible in parts. Some insist on glaring large white spaces at me, when dark is what I need; it's even worse because everything else is now dark.

I'm now having to go through each program and app to see if it works well enough in this mode and if looks good and easy to use. Some are very good, some are very poor and most are considerably worse. It's clearly not something that most programmers check out. I don't really see why all programs can't have available themes with dark backgrounds and light text; can't be that hard to do, can it?.

I'll probably stick to HC going forward since it is easier on the eye anyway, and I will have got used to it and switched to using the programs that work best with it.


Ath

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Re: High Contrast setting & programs
« Reply #1 on: June 05, 2017, 02:08 AM »
It would be very helpful, both for you and the developer, if you report anomalies in this area to the developer(s). Then at least there's a chance it gets fixed.
And for me as a developer, a reason to not add 'skinning', and similar graphics/ui tricks, to applications I (co)develop, sticking to OS-standards ensures that the built-in features like high contrast and screenreaders work as expected.

Dormouse

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Re: High Contrast setting & programs
« Reply #2 on: June 05, 2017, 09:22 AM »
Reported one so far - "Sorry, we're not about to help a lot more with the Desktop or web apps appearance beyond the themes that we offer and the colour schemes offered within. I can of course take this on as feedback to see if the team are able to offer more high contrast options as well in time, but I couldn't offer a timeline on that."
I'll take it a bit further, and I will report others that seem easily fixable. But my computer access time is already reduced and my emphasis now is trying to get a way of functioning more productively.

A substantial part of the problem is that no OS deals with the issues very sensibly. Simply doing a colour reversal covers most of the major problems, and is an easy solution to implement, but it leaves all the colours used potentially clashing or fading into each other. It's easy enough on windows to see what the HC effect is as a keyboard shortcut allows you to toggle between normal view and HC.

Ath

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Re: High Contrast setting & programs
« Reply #3 on: June 05, 2017, 10:53 AM »
Hm, that's a rather disappointing response :(

wraith808

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Re: High Contrast setting & programs
« Reply #4 on: June 05, 2017, 12:54 PM »
Hm, that's a rather disappointing response :(

I thought it was a rather expected response.

worstje

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Re: High Contrast setting & programs
« Reply #5 on: June 05, 2017, 08:37 PM »
Regardless of the amount of 'accessibility features' that recent versions of operating systems contain, I often feel that it's only gotten harder to make an old-fashioned, accessible app. Inbetween all the Aero stuff, the ways windows are made 'non-standard' and the way webpages are a graphical free-for-all, it seems as if consistency and user-preference have been put into banishment.

And Microsoft is not helping. Older customizability settings get plain ignored or overridden by new things. New toolkits are more focused on the looks than on accessibility, too. At this point, I can't exactly call WPF new anymore, but I've complained often enough about the ways it reinvents the wheel for existing controls. (My number one pet-peeve that tends to break with these sorts of shenanigans is that the mousewheel almost never works consistently anymore in modern Windows in regards to how much it scrolls...)

Making programs accessible is (imho) harder than ever nowadays. Everything is custom and skinned and the noticeable limiting of visual tweaking on the OS level is pretty much screwing people with minor visual handicaps over. And it makes me sad. /rant

mouser

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Re: High Contrast setting & programs
« Reply #6 on: June 05, 2017, 10:50 PM »
Ditto what worstje said.

Dormouse

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Re: High Contrast setting & programs
« Reply #7 on: December 10, 2018, 02:19 PM »
My problems improved for a while, but have deteriorated again.
I'm always affected by an area of bright light (eg window & monitor) when everywhere else is darker and by variations in light levels. So no single solution works because I need to change settings when the light gets brighter or darker or when there's a bright light source.

I switched away from HC because there were too many exceptions that gave me problems and there were other solutions to explore. The HC extension in Chrome is helpful and settings can be switched instantly. I thoroughly explored available themes & colours in all the apps I used. I used WindowBlinds to put system stuff into a dark theme (for me, darkish colours are easier on the eye than black). I use colour filters on monitors and have a range of colour filtering glasses; filters can help, but also degrade acuity meaning there is always a tradeoff. I vary monitor brightness.

But this was never working properly and I have been constantly tweaking. It has really got in the way of getting back to my mini-review of writing apps.
On this I recently re-examined RightNote. Its ability to sync with other platforms & the web depends on Evernote. This only works with Evernote type pages. And these, it seems, can only show black text on a white background. Other page types are easily adjusted. I ought to report it, but, since none of the issues I raised to make it a more useful program for writing have appeared in any of updates, it didn't feel like a productive way forward.

So I've switched back to using global HC; basically thinking that it gives me the most stable foundation to work from. I don't know why images can't be excepted from its colour reversal. It's annoying for them all to be in the wrong colour and makes icons hard to recognise. I've increased the taskbar setting to help (I have always operated with small icons because my acuity is good). This solves the RightNote problem. Am now busy resetting all themes and default background and text colours. I still use the filters (sometimes on, sometimes off) and glasses (ditto) and vary monitor brightness.