Stronger mustard March 29, 2010 2:01 PM   Subscribe

Would it be possible to crank up the contrast between read and unread links in the "Contact Activity" column? Often half of the words are highlighted and it's a very crowded small space. I have no idea if it can be done easily and if not, I can still squint.
posted by bru to Feature Requests at 2:01 PM (27 comments total)

I was just noticing this myself. On the white background [which I use] the difference to my eyes is fairly obvious while on the grey background of the Contact Activity it seems to make them look just a little bit similar. I'm not sure what the best way to approach this is, but I think there's probably something we can do.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 2:03 PM on March 29, 2010

This was fast.
posted by bru at 2:22 PM on March 29, 2010

Hi bru, any chance you could set up a user style? I'm afraid that one person's "not enough contrast" is another person's "I can't read it", so I'm hesitant to move away from the established link colors we have now. If you can run Stylish, it's fairly easy to change those colors to whatever you'd like and I think this is a good case for setting something yourself.
posted by pb (staff) at 2:30 PM on March 29, 2010

pb, what about darkening the background color?

I don't have that problem in the sidebar of metatalk for example. Meetups links look fine either followed or not. I agree it's a bit lite on contacts.
posted by cjorgensen at 2:45 PM on March 29, 2010

darkening the background color in which theme?

We sort of have a set palette of colors that we use across the site for various things, and it's not easy to tweak one and not the rest. The darker blue sidebar should mean the difference between visited and not visited links is even easier to see than on the standard light blue page.
posted by pb (staff) at 2:52 PM on March 29, 2010

I was referring to the "contact" sidebar. Maybe it's the smaller font, but followed links don't show up as obviously for me as they do on the main page. It could just be me. I don't have the eyes I once had.
posted by cjorgensen at 3:56 PM on March 29, 2010

One persons stronger mustard is another person's tastes like vomit.
posted by qvantamon at 4:29 PM on March 29, 2010

Thanks pb.
I didn't know about Stylish.
I'll give it a try.
posted by bru at 4:33 PM on March 29, 2010

If that works for bru don't worry about my sensibilities. While I agree with him, I usually up the font level of all meta, so I am happy. This was just a point I could actually see and support.
posted by cjorgensen at 4:39 PM on March 29, 2010

If you get to that point, here's a style that will rewrite those sidebar links with similar but lighter and darker colors:
@namespace url(;

@-moz-document url("") {
     .sidebar a:visited {color:#ffffba !important;}
     .sidebar a:link {color:#979700 !important;}
The key pieces here are the #xxxxxx color values. You can change those to whatever you'd like, and then use something like ColorPicker to get new values if you don't like these. I know this is a lot of work, but once you set it up you shouldn't have to touch it again.
posted by pb (staff) at 4:40 PM on March 29, 2010

MeFites are getting old, amirite?
posted by deborah at 4:45 PM on March 29, 2010 [2 favorites]

Side request:
A few weeks ago someone linked to a better-contrast greasemonkey script for MeFi....anyone have that link now? I was having greasemonkey issues at the time, it's all sorted and now I can't find the links.
posted by TomMelee at 7:37 PM on March 29, 2010

It's a Stylish style, TomMelee. And it's made of awesome.
posted by donnagirl at 8:18 PM on March 29, 2010

There's also this (thanks Plutor!) for changing the visited link color, because on AskMe I wasn't able to tell the visited links apart from plain text very well.
posted by IndigoRain at 8:21 PM on March 29, 2010

pb: I get it now why it's not so easy: with the dark blue background, both colors have to be light; so I ended up not playing with the contrast but with the hue, which is tricky if I don't want to ruin the already challenging palette.
What I have now is not perfect but almost one hour of tinkering is enough for today:

.sidebar a:visited {color:#F2EE00 !important;}
.sidebar a:link {color:#F5D400 !important;}

Thanks for introducing me to Stylish, it's fun.
posted by bru at 6:02 AM on March 30, 2010

Thanks donnagirl. Anyone know of one for gmail? WTB contrast w/o harshness.
posted by TomMelee at 6:25 AM on March 30, 2010

Thanks you much, pb.
I didn't know a'bout Stylish.
I'll give it a try.

posted by SpiffyRob at 7:22 AM on March 30, 2010

Hi bru, any chance you could set up a user style?

I hadn't read the OP's username, and I was all "since when did pb become South African?"

posted by djgh at 8:44 AM on March 30, 2010

One thing you might try if the colors don't work is playing with the text-decoration property. You could underline unfollowed links by adding text-decoration:underline to a:link and then have no underline on followed links by adding text-decoration:none to a:visited. That would be another way to visually separate them.
posted by pb (staff) at 8:59 AM on March 30, 2010

TomMelee, GMail has a built in style system at Settings --> Themes and some of the options are higher contrast. The last option there is "Choose Your Own Colors", and you can customize it quite a bit.
posted by pb (staff) at 9:02 AM on March 30, 2010

Yes, am aware of that pb. Played w/ it extensively yesterday but it's not a fan of letting you change message body and keeping it changed. Thanks though.
posted by TomMelee at 9:11 AM on March 30, 2010

So, here is my usability issue. The sidebar looks like this:

smackfu had a
comment with 13 favorites
in MetaFilter.

I inevitably click on that "13 favorites" link by mistake when I want to see the comment, because that link is sticking out there by itself on the right. Am I alone in this?
posted by smackfu at 9:31 AM on March 31, 2010

Yeah, I accidentally click those favorite lists once in a while too. Maybe those lists don't need to be a single click away on the front page? That might help de-clutter and make reading the links easier too. You can always get to that list by clicking through to the comment. I don't know, I don't click the favorited list from contact activity but maybe others do.
posted by pb (staff) at 10:18 AM on March 31, 2010

I don't click it, maybe unlinking might be useful? Maybe we could to an A/B test?
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 10:20 AM on March 31, 2010

That would be cool, I was going to suggest just removing the link to who favorited entirely.
posted by smackfu at 12:12 PM on March 31, 2010

Yes, very good idea.

And FYI, after 24h I have decided to keep my color choice, although I have reversed them:

.sidebar a:visited {color:#F5D400 !important;}
.sidebar a:link {color:#F2EE00 !important;}
posted by bru at 2:04 PM on March 31, 2010

ok, sold. removed the links for now.
posted by pb (staff) at 2:11 PM on March 31, 2010 [1 favorite]

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