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  Name: Joanie
  Subject: Color Scheme, text
  Date/Time: 18 Dec 2005, 2:56 PM
Hi HM, I've got the old and new sites up on my screen and have been comparing them. At the new website, there's not enough use of darker/neutral/warm colors to offset the brighter colors on the page (even the gray surrounding the text box is too light). The bright colors tend to pull your eyes away from the primary task, which is to read and/or post. For example, as I type this, my eye is being drawn towards the bold orange stripe to the right of this box or to the "Post Message" box underneath. It's very distracting. At the original website, bright colors were primarily used for emphasis; i.e. the logo. But text areas were framed using a soothing grey that helped your eyes focus on the task at hand. This is not unlike the concept of framing a photograph with a dark colored frame that stops your eyes from wandering away and instead redirects your eyes back to the image. I'm just offering this information to you from my experience as a photographer. The ability to direct a person's eye to just the right place is very important. Cause the eyes to focus on too many things at once, and the mind becomes distracted and loses interest. As for text: For general reading purposes, a serif font is best. It leads the eye from one letter to the next, making it easier for the eyes to follow and the mind to comprehend. Sans serif fonts are best used for headlines on the front covers of periodicals or as headers within an article. Because there are no serifs, it disrupts the movement of the eyes and causes them to stop and read each letter individually. The purpose is to grab one's attention. To make you stop and stare at the headline or to help you isolate a topic from the surrounding passages. Even though you used a sans serif in the articles at both websites, I find the current one less comfortable to read. Since you use style sheets, these things shouldn't be too difficult to change.
 
 
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