FWD’s New Look

Thanks to lots of hard work on the part of Viv, FWD/Forward has a new look, as you can probably tell!

As with all projects of this nature, it’s hard to tell how things will work out until we set them loose in the wild. So, it’s important to note that things are still very much in the tweaking phase. Adjustments will continue to be made over the following days as we see how the site behaves when people actually interact with it, and this means that what you are seeing right now is not the final, set in stone version of FWD’s look.

This is where y’all come in.

If you notice something that looks/feels wonky, please let us know, either in comments here, or in an email to admin at disabledfeminists dot com. Please note your browser and operating system so we have a starting point for figuring out what is going wrong and why. If you can take a screenshot and send it along to document exactly what you are seeing, so much the better. If not, don’t worry! We still want to read your bug report!

If you identify accessibility issues with the site (anything which makes FWD harder for you to interact with is an accessibility issue), please let us know. One of the things we are in the process of doing right now, for example, is tweaking the colours in the top navigation bar to make them more visible and higher contrast. We are also aware that, inevitably, there are some conflicts with accessibility issues; what makes the site easier for one person makes it harder for another, and we are trying to strike a balance which will not exclude anyone. One of the exciting things about the new look is that we have greater configurability, including, eventually, the ability to set up a theme switcher which will allow readers to switch between dark on light/light on dark versions of the theme.

We hope that you like the new look as much as we do; the old one was, believe it or not, temporary!

By 21 January, 2010.    administrivia   



23 Comments

  1. The new theme looks great – nice and simple, easy to read at most font sizes. However, if you pick a large font size, the spacing between the lines of text doesn’t scale with the text, meaning it’s all crowded and barely readable.

    (Using FF, in case it matters)

  2. I see what you mean. I’ll have to go and noodle on a solution for that.

  3. It looks great!

    (Selfish whine – I loved the old red. Probably because it was the old one and change is scary and I’m being an immature dingbat.)

    It’s really easy to read, and one new thing I really like is that you can go to the post instead of the comment when somebody comments and it appears in the sidebar. (No, it’s not hard to scroll to the top of the page. I just like it.)

  4. I would prefer a darker font color that contrasts more with the background, but I think that’s a personal preference thing more than an actual accessibility thing. But other than that, I like it! The turquoisey-tealish-blue-green in the menu bar is one of my favorite colors.

  5. Monica – I did not know it was blue-ish, because of the angle my computer is at and the light around it (and general visual laziness) makes me see it as black.

    But the words pop out, so there’s no accessibility issues.

  6. Monica, I agree with you on the font colour so it is now darker.

  7. “I would prefer a darker font color that contrasts more with the background”

    Ditto. I can read this text I’m typing now while it is being displayed in this comment box (it seems to be dark black on white) much more easily than any of the text above. The main post is not great but it’s okay. But the five comments under it have a much lower contrast between the text and the background.

    In my case it is simply a matter of “old eyes” (anyone else out there nearing fifty?) but it may also impact those with visual disabilities of a different sort.

  8. First off, I absolutely LOVE the “skip to content” link on the top. Themes which place a lot of headers and menus before the content mess up blind accessibility and that just irks me to no end.

    Couple of bugs:

    1) When I mouse over one of the links which is grey (like the byline) the background turns blue and the text becomes absolutely unreadable. The black text seems to inverse its colour properly so it remains readable.

    2) The little dividers between the menus (home, about, ect) extend a couple pixels below the header area and I don’t think they’re supposed to do that. I should note that the one on the very left (to the left of Home) is fine but the others are wonky.

    All of this is though Firefox 3.5.7 running on Ubuntu UNR.

  9. Maybe I’m seeing it wrong, but what is darker than black? Would a bolder font work better?

    Actually, it does look like it’s gray – dark gray. That may be me looking at it, that may be from the greige background. (I used to have issues with dark brown – it looks purple! And my favorite color is purple! (as decided at age 5, when everything important is decided))

    When I sad the words pop, I meant at the top.

    But I’m having no visibility issues, but my vision is pretty good. (When I have glasses on and am not suffering from a reaction to medication.)

  10. @The Untoward Lady,
    Thanks for the note re lack of contrast on some link-hovers and the menu-dividers. It’s on the list!
    @Kaitlyn, @ahimsa,
    The content font is now black for maximum contrast. Working on styling the comments field more boldly too.

  11. Especially love the “skip to footer/sidebar/content”.

    It might be good to have “skip to comments”.

  12. @Adelaide Dupont,

    Too many skip links ends up just becoming another navigation area that people have to wade through, so I’m wary of adding any more. The skip to footer link is only there because that’s where a login link is for contributors. I hope that anyone wanting to skip to comments can either skip to the sidebar and tab down the headings to “Recent comments”. I can however add a comments-link to the byline area of each post on the front page as well as the current link at the end of the front-page text?

  13. The byline would indeed be a good idea.

    “Recent comments” would indeed be easier, especially as it’s to the right.

  14. OK, have fixed the byline/metadata link contrast issue, and tweaked the blockquote for greater legibility.

    The framework author has done some sneaky things with subsidiary template files for some of the other minor elements needing tweaking (like the extra link to comments that I think we want in the byline area), and I think I might leave those until this weekend to try to crack.

    If anyone has their own accessibility styling hints that they’ve found useful elsewhere, please drop me an email.

    ~ Viv

  15. meloukhia,

    I think the new look is great! It’s easy on the eyes for me. I honestly don’t know if I’ve ever seen an option for choosing the text size of a blog elsewhere but that is a fantastic idea. I continue to appreciate being included in your blogroll. Tell Viv, “job well done”!

    Jeanne

  16. Aw, I thought it looked so pretty before!

  17. I know this probably conflicts a lot, but for me the new site is a bit too bright and light to be able to look at, especially the posts themselves which have a white background (the background outside of posts etc, seems to be more greyish).

  18. The blue links in the header are hard to read for me. There’s little contrast between them and the navy blue background. The tan color for the rest of the header text works fine for me, but I don’t know if you’d want to use that for the links due to aesthetics.

  19. Thanks for making the font darker. Improving the contrast makes it easier for me to read. Sorry to see that some others have problems with backgrounds being too bright.

    Thanks for all that you’re doing! I know you can’t please everyone with the new look but I hope you find something that works for most folks. Sending *hugs* to all who are working behind the scenes to keep this web site going… (if that’s not too corny!)

  20. The lighter background/darker text is much easier for me to read. It seems that FWD is currently using a fixed width format, which does mean that I lose some of the right edge of the screen unless I adjust my window size. I am unable to scroll left/right on this site. (I’m using Google Chrome.)
    Overall, I think this is an improvement. Thanks.

  21. Thank you for changing the color of the header links – though now the category links above each post can’t be read D: Sorry!

  22. Thanks, @Static Nonsense – the breadcrumb links are now a better colour!

  23. Nice job!

    Unlike almost every other place where there’s a Text Size Selector, I was impressed how almost everything increased when I choose 24 pix. (The outliers: is this textarea input I’m composing now; the breacrumbs text, the button labels, and the “search here” hint text up in the search field.