I have designed this site so that even people who are
visually handicapped or color blind to one degree or another will still be able
to read this site. I use a dark background for the benefit of folks using WebTV/AOL-TV,
where it's well-known that you get better visibility on a television set with
a dark background and light text. I have listed below some useful tips if you
have difficulty reading this, or any other site.
- Internet Explorer 5.x to present - you'll find them under Tools
in the menu bar at the
top of your browser screen.
- Click Tools
- Click Internet Options
- Click Accessibility
- Put a checkmark in the boxes for the features you want
to use - whether it's for not using colors, fonts, and/or font sizes.
- Internet Explorer 4.x - look underEdit
instead of tools for the same screens.
I don't have screenshots and instructions yet for other browsers.
I have added the use of cascading style sheets (often referred to just
as "CSS") to this site. However, there is minimal impact on
the site, and they are designed to also degrade easily in older browsers
- The layout is still using plain HTML as are the font colors. The only
thing the style sheets cover is the font type, size, and a tweak on
the scrollbar. If your browser does not support style sheets, or you
have them turned off, functionality and layout are unchanged. The fonts
will just look ugly. The advantage this gives me is that the pages will
be a little smaller, and hopefully take a little less time to load.
BLACK-ON-WHITE - "THE" STANDARD OF WEB DESIGN?
My site design is WebTV/AOL-TV friendly, AND has the added bonus of being
easier to read for people who are photosensitive (which, unsurprisingly, is most of the audience this site is intended for.). I refer you to this passage
from Web Design In A Nutshell by Jennifer
Niederst, published by O'Reilly for
an explanation of why:
"WebTV uses a television rather than a monitor as a display device...Principles
for designing legible television graphics apply, such as the use of light
text on dark backgrounds rather than vice versa and the avoidance of any
elements less than 2 pixels in width."
COLOR / VISION PROBLEMS?
If you have color vision difficulties, you may turn any background graphics
off, if I happen to be using any at the present time. Everything else is geared
to be visible white and yellow (with some light blue highlights) on a black
background, and have sufficient contrast, which should cover the color blindness
problems I've seen mentioned on other sites.
If you normally have difficulty reading sites (not just this one)
because of their colors, have you had a color blindness test? Approximately
1 in 12 males and 1 in 25 females have some form of color blindness, whether mild or severe.
Is the brightness of your monitor turned up? If so, is the monitor
old and/or just plain dying?
Have you taken off your sunglasses? :)
I am committed to keeping the site quick and easy for anyone to access.
This is why I shun frames, Java, and other "advanced" 'Net Nightmares that
reduce speed and accessibility. So that means you will find:
- No Comet Cursor (CC is evil and should never ever EVER be used...)
- No Java
- No frames (and now each main navigation page has a way to escape from
- No pop-up windows
- No rotating banner advertisements
- No embedded sound files
- No cookies (Exception: counter
cookies from Hitbox, Bravent and Google)
I have attempted to design this site so that any desktop computer browser,
even text-only browsers, can make use of it. Be warned, however, I am using
a lot of tables. Please let me know if you have problems. Pages have been
tested to be viewable and understandable at any "standard" PC-type screen
resolution (640x480 on up). Granted, it will look better on the bigger ones,
but then most pages do. However, it's not mandatory to have a larger screen
size. If anyone has display problems with their browser (due to my use of
lists and tables to control the layout) PLEASE let me know the following:
- Which operating system (Windows, Mac, etc) and version
- Which browser (Netscape, Internet Explorer, Opera, etc)
- What version of your browser (Usually found under "Help" --> "About")
- Which page(s) are displaying improperly
- Which section(s), if it's only part of the page(s)
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