Lighter box good! Darker box bad!
February 16, 2012 7:47 PM   Subscribe

When and why did AskMe best answer highlighting change from light to dark? I fear change, and the effect is more jarring than I expected it to be. If this isn't something we can toggle, anyone have a Greasemonkey script?
posted by StrikeTheViol to Feature Requests at 7:47 PM (52 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

Voila. (Or should I say: Viola.)
posted by scody at 7:50 PM on February 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


d'oh, should have also linked to pb's comment here.
posted by scody at 7:52 PM on February 16, 2012


In summary, some folks were finding the Best Answers difficult to read due to the reduced contrast between text and background, so the mods decided they'd try making the background darker instead of lighter. Seems they've now implemented that decision.
posted by Scientist at 7:52 PM on February 16, 2012


Yeah we updated this today. Kadin2048 had some good suggestions about accessibility guidelines and we figured making the best answer look easier to read and not less easy was probably a good plan.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:53 PM on February 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


Whoa. Is the light green bar that runs alongside the OP's comments also going to change to the new color? I liked when they matched because that soothes my sense of order, but I also think the lighter color pops more and draws more attention to OP comments.
posted by lilac girl at 7:53 PM on February 16, 2012


If you use Stylish, you can add a style to go back to the old color like this:

.best {background-color: #5e7e62;}

We don't have any plans to change the OP highlight color, but we can discuss it. It might be a good Stylish candidate too—it's also easy to change that way.
posted by pb (staff) at 8:07 PM on February 16, 2012


Ah, that makes sense. Is there a Stylish equivalent for Chrome? I stopped using FF a while back.
posted by StrikeTheViol at 8:19 PM on February 16, 2012


Cool beans. I think it works fine the way it is now; I will just beat down the voice in my head that says "but everything has to match!" until I get used to it.
posted by lilac girl at 8:21 PM on February 16, 2012


Whoa. Is the light green bar that runs alongside the OP's comments also going to change to the new color? I liked when they matched because that soothes my sense of order

Me too. There's at least one too many colors on the askme pages now.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 8:21 PM on February 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


StrikeTheViol, yeah, that's what I use. If you Google "Stylish for Chrome" it's the first result. I'm not sure how the whole Chrome Store link thing works.
posted by pb (staff) at 8:39 PM on February 16, 2012


Wow, this is a great change.
posted by KokuRyu at 8:43 PM on February 16, 2012


I love change and love this particular change. So chic!
posted by batmonkey at 8:45 PM on February 16, 2012


Any tips on how I can reset my font size to the old way, too? On all other Metafilter pages, my Chrome "zoom" setting is still at a nice 83%, but as of today the new AskMe only lets me choose 75% or 90%. I feel a little like Goldilocks, and there's probably something simple I'm missing, but any tips would be most welcome.
posted by argonauta at 8:47 PM on February 16, 2012


...the new AskMe only lets me choose 75% or 90%.

This isn't anything we're doing on our end. The only change we made today was to the background color for best answers. So nothing new with fonts going on.

If you click Preferences at the top of any page here you can adjust your font sizes that way. Not sure what's going on with Chrome for you, I'm not even sure where you see zoom percentages.
posted by pb (staff) at 8:54 PM on February 16, 2012


This is great.

I'm surprised how much better it looks.
posted by jamjam at 9:06 PM on February 16, 2012


I use the professional white background. Since on the unprofessional looking the background of a best answer is now darker, can you make the background for a best answer in the plain theme lighter? They were different before, I don't see why they should be the same now.
posted by LionIndex at 9:19 PM on February 16, 2012


Smoooove.
posted by Specklet at 9:24 PM on February 16, 2012


StrikeTheViol, yeah, that's what I use. If you Google "Stylish for Chrome" it's the first result. I'm not sure how the whole Chrome Store link thing works.

Hooray! I realized that I can use any color code I like with Stylish, giving me COMPLETE BEST ANSWER COLOR CONTROL. How are the values set for site backgrounds? I feel like browsing The Beige.
posted by StrikeTheViol at 9:38 PM on February 16, 2012


Oh, wow. I often forget that folks actually use the site's default (godawful) color scheme instead of the improved contrast version.

It's much more readable. Especially if you're on a PC that uses Windows' default gamma settings. Best answers are highlighted by a thick border instead of a different background. This is also a vast improvement, as all text is rendered to be equally-legible.
posted by schmod at 9:50 PM on February 16, 2012


Not that anyone asked me, but I like the darker best answer vs. the lighter one.
posted by crunchland at 11:25 PM on February 16, 2012


I much prefer the darker background. It makes it much easier to read the comment than it used to be.
posted by Solomon at 11:40 PM on February 16, 2012


I don't like this at all. There's too little contrast and it makes the whole thing a lot harder to read on my laptop. Readability was much higher for me before, this makes my eyes go wonky.

I also don't really like how a teeny tiny handful of people complain about something and a feature of the site which has been around for many years suddenly gets changed. Given how many thousands of people use the site it should take more than a random few complaining to trigger a fairly significant interface change. At the very least it seems to me like this should be a profile setting like font and stuff, given how many years we've been using the previous version without anyone complaining.

I'm going to give it a week in case what I really hate is change (entirely possible), then figure out how to change this back myself. I use three different computers at various times so I'm going to have to go round fixing all of them (I don't use browser addons or Chrome so it will be a mildly annoying thing to do).
posted by shelleycat at 12:22 AM on February 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


a teeny tiny handful of people complain about something

It was changed to better fit a well-established web accessibility guideline, which Kadin2048 describes in this comment. I'm surprised you say there's less contrast - the contrast looks much higher now on my end, and the best answers are much more readable. If you decide you need to change it, though, pb has kindly provided the stylish code here.
posted by dialetheia at 1:23 AM on February 17, 2012 [3 favorites]


schmod: "Oh, wow. I often forget that folks actually use the site's default (godawful) color scheme instead of the improved contrast version."

Ditto, except replace "improved contrast version" with "professional white background". Where do you people work, Toys R Us or something??
posted by Grither at 4:30 AM on February 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


professional white background".

What, no option for a working class Latino background?! Shame!
posted by fuq at 5:37 AM on February 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


To be honest, I don't like this. The darker color seems to de-emphasize what should be the most important part.
posted by smackfu at 6:17 AM on February 17, 2012 [3 favorites]


Another idea would be to simply have a yellow box around the answer to highlight it instead of a contrasting box, but this looks great too.
posted by futureisunwritten at 7:05 AM on February 17, 2012


As one of the people who agitated for this change, this had the intended effect for me; best answers are much more readable (yay guidelines).
posted by Mitheral at 7:17 AM on February 17, 2012


I think it looks great. I was surprised at how happy I was when I revved Ask up this morning. This has replaced my wordless rage at users who mark every answer as best answer with a mild fondness, and the world is a slightly better place for it.
posted by tavegyl at 7:28 AM on February 17, 2012


I notice best answers don't have little check marks. Has that always only been on the main page or did we lose them in this change?
posted by Mitheral at 7:35 AM on February 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


To be honest, I don't like this. The darker color seems to de-emphasize what should be the most important part.

For me it has the opposite effect. It emphasizes the "best answers" because of the greater contrast between the text and the background. Obviously one of us is weird. Based on my life experience to date, the odds are pretty good it's me.
posted by FishBike at 7:36 AM on February 17, 2012


There's too little contrast and it makes the whole thing a lot harder to read on my laptop.

The contrast is actually objectively higher. I totally understand that something looking different is jarring and irritating, but this may be a situation where you have to take it up with your monitor settings. We are pretty conservative here when it comes to making changes, but I assure you this isn't a few people complaining and us just making a random change. This helps the site better meet accessibility guidelines. There is also always the simple style which is higher contrast all around.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:41 AM on February 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


If you're curious about the luminosity ratio of any given background and text color combination, there's a good tool here: Luminosity Colour Contrast Ratio Analyser. You can plug in any two hex colors and get the contrast ratio.
posted by pb (staff) at 8:31 AM on February 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


Has that always only been on the main page or did we lose them in this change?

Yep, the check has always only been on the main page. The only change we made yesterday was the best answer background color.
posted by pb (staff) at 8:40 AM on February 17, 2012


Yep, the check has always only been on the main page.

There's a little red line underneath each check mark in my copy of IE8. Is that intentional?
posted by banshee at 8:59 AM on February 17, 2012


Is that intentional?

Nope, sounds like the image sprite is off a little in IE8. I'll take a look.
posted by pb (staff) at 9:06 AM on February 17, 2012


This is an improvement. Thanks, guys!
posted by grouse at 10:20 AM on February 17, 2012


banshee, I tested things out in IE8 (version 8.0.6001.18702) in XP and I didn't see the red line. But I noticed some other things were a little off. I made some changes to straighten them out. Hopefully that will take care of things.
posted by pb (staff) at 11:21 AM on February 17, 2012


we figured making the best answer look easier to read and not less easy was probably a good plan

Yeah, I always wondered why you did that!

I like this change a lot.
posted by philipy at 1:03 PM on February 17, 2012


Hate it. Perfect example of "fixing" something that was not broken.
posted by mlis at 2:52 PM on February 17, 2012


Whatever you did fixed it. Thanks!
posted by banshee at 3:08 PM on February 17, 2012


I'm so glad this ended up in MetaTalk, because I was very confused. Something didn't look right, but I just couldn't quite figure out what...
posted by leahwrenn at 5:14 PM on February 17, 2012


Did you also alter the post and preview buttons at the bottom? They lack all color now (at work, sadly on IE7, no it's not my choice), and just have a dark outline around post comment, and a faint outline around preview. Is that just on my end?
posted by Ghidorah at 7:45 PM on February 17, 2012


What version of IE are you using, Ghidorah? (I assume it's IE because I made some changes there today.)
posted by pb (staff) at 7:47 PM on February 17, 2012


oh I see, IE7. I'll take a look.
posted by pb (staff) at 7:48 PM on February 17, 2012


Yeah, it's actually most of the buttons. There's a funky line under my mailbox icon on the main page, and the search button on my profile page has the same weirdness.
posted by Ghidorah at 7:52 PM on February 17, 2012


Thanks for the heads up. It should look better now.
posted by pb (staff) at 8:31 PM on February 17, 2012


all back to normal. thanks
posted by Ghidorah at 8:53 PM on February 17, 2012


What if something like this happened and there was no MetaTalk post about it already?!? Then I would know the world had fallen apart. Someone hold me.
posted by fleacircus at 3:47 PM on February 18, 2012


I approve of the change. Now where's my Like button?
posted by arcticseal at 1:42 AM on February 19, 2012


So glad I found this thread. Thought I was going crazy as to whether there actually *had* been a color change.
posted by Conrad Cornelius o'Donald o'Dell at 2:50 PM on February 19, 2012


Haha, I had flagged the first changed best answer I saw as an HTML/display error. After I saw a few more, I figured out that it was intentional.
posted by vegartanipla at 10:15 AM on February 20, 2012


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