[thelist] Web Safe Colours

aardvark roselli at earthlink.net
Tue Dec 17 07:15:01 CST 2002

> From: Martyn Haigh <martyn.haigh at virgincosmetics.com>
> How many people can only view the web in web safe colours?  Are the
> days of the 256 colour pallet gone?

well, instead of anecdotal answers that do no more than reflect what
would make your and my life easier as a developer, a little research
can answer that for you...

according to my article, A Quick Color Class
(http://evolt.org/article/list/22/49204/), between 3% and 10% of
users in general are still surfing at 256 colors...

if you actually want to know how many of *your* users are surfing at
8-bit, you can find that out with another article i've written at

and don't forget that users at 16-bit don't see the same colors as
users at 8-bit -- in fact, they only have 22 colors in common, which
you can read about at

> I know I should stick to the 256 colours given to me - but I'm
> starting to think that by doing this I will be making it viewable for
> the 3 people that view the site in 256 colours and the rest of the
> people are going to have a less enjoyable experience because of the
> lack of colour.

is it really only 3 people? or is that just a number that implies you
think it's a significant minority?

regardless of what bit-depth you design for, you should at the very
least know how it renders for users at 8-bit...

be sure to reset your system palette to 8-bit during development so
that you can see what they might see... also reset to 16-bit to get
an idea of any differences (since that's potentially half of your

if it's going to break at 8-bit, at least know *how* it will break...

Read the evolt.org case study
Usability: The Site Speaks for Itself
ISBN: 1904151035

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