[thelist] Webmonkey article: Death of Websafe

aardvark roselli at earthlink.net
Tue Oct 24 07:32:09 CDT 2000

> From: "Steven Wood" <steve.wood at serviceengine.com>
> Web Design is just waaaay too politically correct.  Let's move on, shall we?

soon it'll be a class war...

> I currently show that 3.43% of my users use a 256 or lower color display.
> I'm not going to design my site in order to cater to this 3 percent.

i don't have many users at 8-bit, but i still try to define areas of flat 
color that i don't want dithered as web-safe... at 16-bit that color 
still looks the same... and yes, i know my users as well 

> Granted, simpler is almost always better.  So if you can use web safe colors
> without any undue design problems... then why not?  But we all know that
> this is rarely the case.  I'm almost always going for some sort of "look" or
> feel for a site, and if web safe colors won't do... then forget it.  The
> same goes for the color blindness issue.  It's a pretty lame argument
> overall.  I'm looking to please my average visitor and those with varying
> degrees of color blindness, and those using 8-bit displays are not my
> average visitor.

i would argue that you may have more colorblind users than 8-bit 
users... and it's not a lame argument... an attitude like that often 
comes through in the design... for users like that, it's easy for them 
to get disenchanted with vendors (sites) that make no effort to 
assist them -- especially when there is no effort cuz it's so damn 

and obviously, if you have a project where the design and colors 
are key, go for it... as long as you also realize that none of your 
users see the same color you do (thanks to bit-depth, calibration, 
monitors, lighting, etc...)...

> And it's not like  sites that don't use web safe colors instantly become
> unusable in an 8-bit display, they just look different, or at worst ugly.
> I'd venture to say that it is a rare instance when a site actually loses
> functionality due to color choice.

rare, yes... but isn't ugly enough of a reason?

> Do photographers compose their photographs with color blind people in mind?

no, because they are building art, not interfaces...

> Do television programmers and movie producers make movies that cater to
> color blind people or people with black and white televisions?

yes, they do... black and white televisions are supported quite 
heavily thanks to additional signals and the like... this is something 
in which i have experience...  and i know ad agencies keep it in 
mind with commercials...

> What about video game developers?

different story as well... not only do they not build for the average 
joe (they build for gamers), they build for the above average 
hardware profile...

> How about painters and artists?

again, they don't build interfaces...

> Well, I'd really
> like to use the full spectrum with this landscape, but because less than 5%
> of my viewers (1 out of every 10 white males) probably have some slight
> red-green color blindness, I'm going to keep the contrast sharp and avoid
> using certain colors.  Give me a break.

is it an interface element?  is it necessary to use or understand the 
site?  if so, then yeah, you should worry about it... if not, then it's 
just more eye candy, in which case i wouldn't worry...

> Sorry to bring this up again, but I figured I had to finally say something
> about this.  It's bugged me for a long time.

by all means, keep it coming... this is the only way we can all get 
our arms around these issues...

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