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Regarding the LJ layout
msauvage purple
cleolinda
Okay. I have had a couple of requests to make the layout here more accessible to the visually impaired, which is completely reasonable. Namely, the comment-input area, which is usually purple text on a purple background. Please understand that there was never a moment in my life where I said, "You know what would be really readable? Purple on purple." But the way the Component theme is set up, certain... uh... components are bundled together. If you choose a color for one element, other elements automatically take on that color as well. So in choosing the overall layout, I ended up with those colors for the comments. I wasn't particularly thrilled with it, but since I have fairly good vision and didn't know any better, my thought was, "Eh, what're you gonna do," than "Wait, people actually cannot see this." 

But I can't change those separately from the rest of the layout on the simple version of the customization page. So when I change it to something legible, we end up with half the entire journal in white. Which is what you're looking at now.

Now, my understanding is that if you delve into the CSS, you can customize it more specifically. When we have time to deal with that, we will; foresthouse has done some website design and can hash it out for me. Maybe she can magic some bold font in there for me as well. Tonight, I just want to make sure that people can see to make comments for the Oscar liveblogs. 

I love my purple, but honestly, if people can't read it, I may just redo the layout to something entirely different. Which is not something I have been particularly itching to do or looking for an excuse to change up--I'm a creature of habit. I don't like change much. But... people can't read it. I have to do something. My point in bringing this up is not to be all Look what a noble martyr I am; it's to say that things may stay kind of ugly and half-finished around here until I can hash out something that suits me. When you've had a layout long enough, you start to think of it as your face, I guess--kind of the way it's hard to get new glasses, because it's like changing your nose or something. And I also kind of dread the inevitable, well-meant comments of, "Well, the purple's kind of crappy anyway, I've never liked it, so changing it will be great!" Yeah, but it was my purple. It was who I was as a blogger. But part of blogging is people being able to read it, so... [insert Deal With It macros here], and what-all.


ETA: I have now also disabled custom commenting pages. Does that make a legibility difference?

ETA: I'm trying a different layout altogether for the moment--hang on while I reenable custom commenting just so I can see what it even looks like.

ETA: Okay, I think I have settled on November Day (Minimalism) as the theme I like (you should be looking at it now). In fact, but for my missing background, I think I like it better than Component. (The calendar is particularly jaunty.) Problem: It has no options to change the colors.

I really like this shade of blue. I actually wear it a good bit in real life. But... I can't teal. I purple. I've been purpling for nearly eight years now. It's what I do. But until we can figure out a way around this, I'm keeping November Day up with custom commenting enabled (not the default blue/white LJ style). However, if you are reading this through your LJ account, you can view everything in your own style as well.



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Actually, I think what you have now is pretty legible. I mean, you still have your purple background, but the text blocks are easier on the eyes themselves, so you don't have to entirely give up your personal style.

I once customized a layout myself but I kinda cheated. I made a background and kinda tweaked the colors to go with it. I had a cheat sheet though with the color codes, so that kinda helped. It turned out pretty decent, which kinda surprised me since that was the first time I had ever done anything like that.

There is an option in the Journal>Journal Style>Customize your Theme>Display settings that reads:

Disable customized comment pages for your journal?

Turn that to Yes. This means that when people go to comment on your journal, the comment page will either go to the LJ default, or depending on how the user has it set up, their own layout defaults. Should clear up most of the issues for those having trouble with the comment page, since most people will be viewing your entries from their own friends pages, rather then your own layout.

Or just click on "view in my style" at the top of most ljs? Does that work for comments?

I often do that when I come across a page that's grey-on-grey that I'm trying to view on the tiny, un-contrasty screen of my netbook.

Wow, this white is bright. Was it really purple-on-purple before? Huh.

I understand what you mean about your layout being your face, though. I always meant to change my layout, but I've had my Pistachio Mint for years now, and I'm used to it!

Yeahhhh... that's what I'm saying. There's got to be some middle ground between "I hate this" and "no one can read it." Which is why it may require an entirely different layout where THE COMMENT AREA IS ACTUALLY READABLE AND NOT TIED INEXTRICABLY TO THE OTHER COLORS, LIVEJOURNAL, WHAT THE HELL.

Just commenting to say I like(d) the picture of the woman who was part of your background.

Aw. Well, she ought to still be there on the main page. Maybe I'll add her to my icons to use once in a while.

I far prefer the plain comment page (disabling the custom style). It's bright, yes, but the contrast between text and background is so much better. Plus the letter size is automatically larger, which is helpful for me.

Well, it seems that if you click through (say, to read the comments, or through an lj-cut), you get the basic blue/white layout. So this is what it's going to be from now on--no actual layout at all, I guess.

ETA: Wow, that sounds whiny. I read tons of writers' LJs who have the same basic layout and no one's the worse for it. We'll live.

Edited at 2011-02-27 06:50 pm (UTC)

Frankly I never see your style set because I read you thru my friends page and I override the 87364596 custom styles that people create for their journals.

Readers who are logged into LJ could always opt to view your journal in their own journal style, and then adapt that to suit their own needs.

Under "Settings", go to "Display", look for:

Other Journals - Tick the "View all journals and communities in my own style" box.

Comment pages - Tick the "View comment pages from my Friends page in my own style" box.

That might help.

Ooooh, Cleo, could you have two layouts? Interchangeable? Similar ones, but one slightly more 'you' and one that's easier to read?

Or have a note at the top explaining what maetang just said?

Do anything that makes you happy around the margins, but text you truly intend to be read should be black on a white background. Contrast=legibility

Use a narrower text area if you want more room for personalization---what you have now puts the right margin with its information all the way off my laptop screen (either you have a very fine-grained setting on yours, or a big monitor!). Put your personal icon at the top of the entry instead of at the side to get more room for information.

The present incarnation seems to be using pale grey for text, which I am finding a strain to read.

I'm trying to find a section to edit that determines how wide your entry field is--I thought it simply took up the space your browser provided but no more. I do have a widescreen laptop, but LJ shouldn't be able to tell--it shouldn't make a difference. On my old, 1024xwhatever computer, the text field was 600 pixels, so I try to make sure that any images I post are 500 pixels or less, so as not to stretch out the layout. And here it seems to be doing that on its own anyway.

I've moved the sidebar to the left for now.

I liked and could read the purple! :) I think it's considerate of you to change it for those who couldn't, though.

Thank you for disabling custom commenting pages!

My biggest gripe (now that the color's better) is Component. It's several years behind web standards, loads extremely slowly, and is full of deprecated code.

I think it would be relatively easy to create a new layout for you preserving all the things you like best about your current one, but using a more updated code base AND better visuals.

Create from scratch, or choose a newer LJ-provided layout?

It was purple on purple before? Honest to God, I never noticed. But since you've revealed that I suppose it is better to change things for the benefit of those who can't see the text. I hope you manage to keep the old layout though, it was a pretty one.

Well, I'm browsing some newer, simpler layouts now. I may not be able to keep a background picture--well, we'll have to do something about that, or I won't be able to have ghosts for Halloween. Hm. I'm going to try a few things.

I'm not saying I have awful eyesight, but mine's not 100% great, and this is much easier to read. (I did like the layout, though. I love purple.)

Why on earth can't you find something you like that's simultaneously easy to read? (WHY, Livejournal. WHY.)

/my thoughts about getting a paid account have been shot down, temporarily at least

I agree.

I mean I liked the old set up but it really could be overwhelming at times.

I never noticed problems with the readability of the comments before, but I did wish that your entry text would have been a bit darker (it seemed to be a dark grey, not black?). I liked your old layout but I support any changes you make :)

It's black now. The thing was, the original layout came with grey--in fact, I darkened most of the font options myself. I just liked the way it looked with the not-quite black thing.

Or you could tell people to get over their lazy self and use the link that says "view everything in your own style".

I'm legally blind. I can read your comment stuffs and when I can't, I use my own style. Keep your layout and explain to people how to help themselves.

Well, I get a lot of people coming in from outside links who don't necessarily have a LJ account to change the settings on. You can comment with a Facebook or Twitter account, but that then means that their first experience commenting will be on a purple/purple comment box they don't know how to change.

First of all, I've been thinking about getting a LJ account for a long time, and this post is the one that spurred me to action. Yes, I realize that's ridiculous.
But I wanted to tell you that, having been lurking about for quite a while, I love your purple. Just as you felt the layout was like your face, it also seemed that way to me as a reader, and it was a little disconcerting to not see your friendly purple page when I clicked through from my Google Reader.
At the same time, I appreciate your continued thoughtfulness for your readers. Do what you need to do, and good luck finding an pleasing alternative! :)

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