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Please, take care of my eyes! RRS feed

  • Question

  • New forum interface is much hardly viewed for me. Small fonts and low contrast force me to strain my eyes to read a lists of topics. Sorry, but since my registration it is the first time I've began to think it is better for me to avoid visiting TechNet forum. :(

    Please, remember not only young and keen-eyed people visit this forum.


    • Edited by Igor Leyko Friday, February 17, 2012 2:57 PM
    Friday, February 17, 2012 2:56 PM

Answers

  • The icon for proposed answer in TechNet is dirty grey/gray with a tick in the center of the blob part of the image plus a minute bottom-left tail.

    The full marked answer is the same but in bright green and the arrow stands out more.

    (and of course unanswered with neither is the same but in brown with a question mark at the center of the blob).

    ----------------------------------------

    Oddly enough when I found the proposed as answer thread I wanted to up it to answer and found I couldn't. My first thought was that this was a "feature" of the new TechNet implementation so I went to MSDN only to see the same lack of the mark as answer option.

    Smelling a large rat I then checked out the set of forums where I have Moderator rights and found I no longer had Moderator rights to the first two. The present state is that the Moderator rights to the first eight listed have gone and by the time anyone reads this no doubt the lot.

    Apologies for the off-topic section of this post but it happened when and as I wrote above and needless to say without any warning.


    SP 2010 "FAQ" (mainly useful links): http://wssv4faq.mindsharp.com/default.aspx
    WSS3/MOSS FAQ (FAQ and Links) http://wssv3faq.mindsharp.com/default.aspx
    Both also have links to extensive book lists and to (free) on-line chapters




    Friday, February 17, 2012 3:56 PM
  • I'm not sure I understand what about the below unanswered and answered threads makes it hard to see the difference:

    Yellow Question markes are unanswered. Green checks are answered. Is it just the color? Size of the icons themselves? Both?

    Re: Proposed answer: I totally agree, the only difference is the color (gray vs green)....that's not such a great way to visually distinguish something, we're looking into changing that.


    Community Forums Program Manager


    Friday, February 17, 2012 7:26 PM
    Answerer

All replies

  • Согласен. Как счастливый обладатель мигрени и плохого зрения ,был неприятно удивлён произошедшими изменениями и отсутствием разделительных полос.  Посещать сайт почти расхотелось.     I agree. As a happy owner of a migraine and poor eyesight,was unpleasantly surprised by the recent changes and lack of separation of bands. Visit the site almost got sick

    user vulgaris

    Friday, February 17, 2012 3:21 PM
  • I also join. I already have bad eyesight. You want, what would I blind?
    Friday, February 17, 2012 3:24 PM
  • Also, I cannot tell the difference between a thread with an answer and one with a proposed answer. I know it has been brought up before, but I cannot find the thread.


    Richard Mueller - MVP Directory Services

    Friday, February 17, 2012 3:54 PM
    Moderator
  • The icon for proposed answer in TechNet is dirty grey/gray with a tick in the center of the blob part of the image plus a minute bottom-left tail.

    The full marked answer is the same but in bright green and the arrow stands out more.

    (and of course unanswered with neither is the same but in brown with a question mark at the center of the blob).

    ----------------------------------------

    Oddly enough when I found the proposed as answer thread I wanted to up it to answer and found I couldn't. My first thought was that this was a "feature" of the new TechNet implementation so I went to MSDN only to see the same lack of the mark as answer option.

    Smelling a large rat I then checked out the set of forums where I have Moderator rights and found I no longer had Moderator rights to the first two. The present state is that the Moderator rights to the first eight listed have gone and by the time anyone reads this no doubt the lot.

    Apologies for the off-topic section of this post but it happened when and as I wrote above and needless to say without any warning.


    SP 2010 "FAQ" (mainly useful links): http://wssv4faq.mindsharp.com/default.aspx
    WSS3/MOSS FAQ (FAQ and Links) http://wssv3faq.mindsharp.com/default.aspx
    Both also have links to extensive book lists and to (free) on-line chapters




    Friday, February 17, 2012 3:56 PM
  • If two threads are next to each other, and I bring my eyes right up to the screen, I can see the difference. But if all threads in view but one are unanswered, I cannot tell to save my life. I need to open the thread and then hoover over the icon.


    Richard Mueller - MVP Directory Services

    Friday, February 17, 2012 5:23 PM
    Moderator
  • agree, the old style was better
    Friday, February 17, 2012 5:38 PM
  • I'm not sure I understand what about the below unanswered and answered threads makes it hard to see the difference:

    Yellow Question markes are unanswered. Green checks are answered. Is it just the color? Size of the icons themselves? Both?

    Re: Proposed answer: I totally agree, the only difference is the color (gray vs green)....that's not such a great way to visually distinguish something, we're looking into changing that.


    Community Forums Program Manager


    Friday, February 17, 2012 7:26 PM
    Answerer
  • Why TechNet forum can not have the same style as MSDN forum? IMHO, MSDN has it OK.

    For every expert, there is an equal and opposite expert. - Becker's Law


    My blog

    Friday, February 17, 2012 8:03 PM
    Moderator
  • I would have called it orange.  Men are typically more color blind.  Because they are both checkmarks have you considered that to someone color blind they can't tell proposed from answered?  But in MSDN it's just way more obvious of answered (green checks) to unanswered (?).

    Saturday, February 18, 2012 1:15 AM
  • I am having the same issue noted by Richard and others. I don't think the current look would pass a quick check against the principles of web accessibility.


    --- Al Dunbar

    Monday, February 20, 2012 1:54 AM
  • In addition to the information people gave about the differences of the icons...

     

    You can try to access the forums through MSDN or Microsoft forums rather than through TechNet. Currently, this is a solution to avoid viewing the forums in the TechNet style/branding.

    Here's the trick that works now: remove "technet." from the URL. That gives you the Microsoft branding/style.


    Note that it works currently.

    Thanks!


    Ed Price (a.k.a User Ed), SQL Server Experience Program Manager (Blog, Twitter, Wiki)


    Monday, February 20, 2012 2:07 AM
    Owner
  • I'm not sure I understand what about the below unanswered and answered threads makes it hard to see the difference:

    Yellow Question markes are unanswered. Green checks are answered. Is it just the color? Size of the icons themselves? Both?

    Re: Proposed answer: I totally agree, the only difference is the color (gray vs green)....that's not such a great way to visually distinguish something, we're looking into changing that.


    Community Forums Program Manager


    This is the whole point. A number of us are having difficulty distinguishing between the grey and green symbols because there is simply not as much contrast as there used to be. Do we need to provide an algorithm that demonstrates that the contrast is insufficient, or is our say so enough?


    --- Al Dunbar

    Monday, February 20, 2012 5:43 AM
  • This is the whole point. A number of us are having difficulty distinguishing between the grey and green symbols because there is simply not as much contrast as there used to be. Do we need to provide an algorithm that demonstrates that the contrast is insufficient, or is our say so enough?


    --- Al Dunbar

    It is what it is. If the contrast isn't high enough for you, then that's what it is. I'm curious how common this issue is.

    Thanks!


    Ed Price (a.k.a User Ed), SQL Server Experience Program Manager (Blog, Twitter, Wiki)

    Monday, February 20, 2012 10:18 AM
    Owner
  • I'm curious how common this issue is.

    Ed, I do not now how common it is but I know that after ~10 minutes of reading renewed forums I begin to feel pain in my eyes. If forum will keep this desing, I'll have to stop reading and answering unfortunately. :(  That's just my complain.

    And one more question: how common is an opinion the new design is better? ;)


    • Edited by Igor Leyko Monday, February 20, 2012 11:42 AM
    Monday, February 20, 2012 11:32 AM
  • new design is better, but our eyes...
    Monday, February 20, 2012 12:10 PM
  • Good question! And I like the answer - the design is better / newer, but our eyesight is older / worse.

    For every expert, there is an equal and opposite expert. - Becker's Law


    My blog

    Monday, February 20, 2012 2:47 PM
    Moderator
  • It is what it is. If the contrast isn't high enough for you, then that's what it is. I'm curious how common this issue is.

    Thanks!


    Ed Price (a.k.a User Ed), SQL Server Experience Program Manager (Blog, Twitter, Wiki)

    I can tell the difference if I stare at them carefully.  But if I just glance at them it is easy to confuse one with the other. 

    But I think the question should not be how many people are having problems, but rather what is a good design practice.  Since some form and degree of color blindness is moderately common (maybe 8% or more of males), IMO it is a mistake to have a design that tries to convey information via color if there is some other method available to use.  In the case of icons, the answer is simple, instead of using different colors to convey information, just use different icons.

    Green and grey appear very similiar to some people so you could lower the incidence of problems by picking colors with more contrast, but why not fix the problem by just picking different icons, one that means the question has a proposed answer and a different one that means the question has an answer.

    Tom

    Monday, February 20, 2012 4:50 PM
  • Here's the trick that works now: remove "technet." from the URL. That gives you the Microsoft branding/style.

    Note that it works currently.


    Unfortunately it does not work for Russian forums.
    Monday, February 20, 2012 7:07 PM
  • Ed, I do not now how common it is but I know that after ~10 minutes of reading renewed forums I begin to feel pain in my eyes. If forum will keep this desing, I'll have to stop reading and answering unfortunately. :(  That's just my complain.

    And one more question: how common is an opinion the new design is better? ;)

    Well the design goes much deeper than "better." It gets into branding and marketing and business. So we need to find the bugs in it...

    So the forum "will" keep this design, but let's talk about what exactly is hurting your eyes. Just the color difference from green and grey on those bubble icons? Anything else? I don't think the font is any different. Is it the spacing on specific pages? Let's get as specific as possible, please.

    Thanks!


    Ed Price (a.k.a User Ed), SQL Server Experience Program Manager (Blog, Twitter, Wiki)

    Monday, February 20, 2012 7:17 PM
    Owner
  • I can tell the difference if I stare at them carefully.  But if I just glance at them it is easy to confuse one with the other. 

    But I think the question should not be how many people are having problems, but rather what is a good design practice.  Since some form and degree of color blindness is moderately common (maybe 8% or more of males), IMO it is a mistake to have a design that tries to convey information via color if there is some other method available to use.  In the case of icons, the answer is simple, instead of using different colors to convey information, just use different icons.

    Green and grey appear very similiar to some people so you could lower the incidence of problems by picking colors with more contrast, but why not fix the problem by just picking different icons, one that means the question has a proposed answer and a different one that means the question has an answer.

    Tom

    Agreed about your design/color notes. the previous (currently Microsoft and MSDN branded icons used a combination of both shapes and color). That was the ideal combination.

    But we need to prove this is a bug (or popular request) in order to get a change. As I mentioned earlier, the design goes deeper than "better", because it's about marketing, branding, and business. So we need to treat each issue, one at a time. And this seems to be a good one to address.

    Thanks!


    Ed Price (a.k.a User Ed), SQL Server Experience Program Manager (Blog, Twitter, Wiki)

    Monday, February 20, 2012 7:21 PM
    Owner
  • but let's talk about what exactly is hurting your eyes. Just the color difference from green and grey on those bubble icons? Anything else?

    I suppose the most important factor are faded fonts so the text is unclear.


    • Edited by Igor Leyko Monday, February 20, 2012 7:29 PM
    Monday, February 20, 2012 7:27 PM
  • but let's talk about what exactly is hurting your eyes. Just the color difference from green and grey on those bubble icons? Anything else?

    I suppose the most important factor are faded fonts so the text is unclear.


    Good. What pages are the worst ones?

    Thanks!


    Ed Price (a.k.a User Ed), SQL Server Experience Program Manager (Blog, Twitter, Wiki)

    Monday, February 20, 2012 8:32 PM
    Owner


  • There is just a correct spacing, the effective one, that permits words to be distinct, yet allows entire sentences to be read at a glance.  Either it works, or it doesn't.

    Not meant as ridicule, but blur your eyes and what do you see?  When the icons become dominant, round and strongly colored, are those hard candies?  Fruits?  Berries?  When the subliminal image becomes a pumpkin patch, then the letters and words become background twigs and leaves.  They are not meant to be read.  They cannot be.  The eye is looking for the bright round things.

    You've emphasized the wrong things.  It is causing us to look for the things we can eat in there, Ed.

    That's why we can't read it.


    What do you mean by "I emphasized the wrong things"? Do you mean the designers or my replies in this thread?

    Thanks!


    Ed Price (a.k.a User Ed), SQL Server Experience Program Manager (Blog, Twitter, Wiki)

    Monday, February 20, 2012 8:33 PM
    Owner
  • What pages are the worst ones?

    The list of forums and lists of forum's topics.

    E.g. http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/ru-ru/windows7ru/threads 

    Monday, February 20, 2012 8:39 PM
  • I can tell the difference if I stare at them carefully.  But if I just glance at them it is easy to confuse one with the other. 

    But I think the question should not be how many people are having problems, but rather what is a good design practice.  Since some form and degree of color blindness is moderately common (maybe 8% or more of males), IMO it is a mistake to have a design that tries to convey information via color if there is some other method available to use.  In the case of icons, the answer is simple, instead of using different colors to convey information, just use different icons.

    Green and grey appear very similiar to some people so you could lower the incidence of problems by picking colors with more contrast, but why not fix the problem by just picking different icons, one that means the question has a proposed answer and a different one that means the question has an answer.

    Tom

    Agreed about your design/color notes. the previous (currently Microsoft and MSDN branded icons used a combination of both shapes and color). That was the ideal combination.

    But we need to prove this is a bug (or popular request) in order to get a change. As I mentioned earlier, the design goes deeper than "better", because it's about marketing, branding, and business. So we need to treat each issue, one at a time. And this seems to be a good one to address.

    Thanks!


    Ed Price (a.k.a User Ed), SQL Server Experience Program Manager (Blog, Twitter, Wiki)

    Ed, it is not a "bug", it is just simply a questionable design. For reference, consider the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0, specifically the following:

    1.3.3 Sensory Characteristics: Instructions provided for understanding and operating content do not rely solely on sensory characteristics of components such as shape, size, visual location, orientation, or sound. (Level A)

    1.4.1 Use of Color: Color is not used as the only visual means of conveying information, indicating an action, prompting a response, or distinguishing a visual element. (Level A)

    The intent of these guidelines is given by this statement: "Following these guidelines will make content accessible to a wider range of people with disabilities, including blindness and low vision, deafness and hearing loss, learning disabilities, cognitive limitations, limited movement, speech disabilities, photosensitivity and combinations of these". I strongly suspect that, like myself, some of the others complaining about this have not, until now, considered themselves to be disabled, beyond perhaps a requirement for eyeglasses.

    If people not otherwise considered disabled are having difficulty with this design, then I think it highly likely that those with identified visual disorders will have an even worse time of it.

    So, do these deeper aspects of web design (marketing, branding, and business) trump the importance to Microsoft of making their services and products available to and usable by as wide an audience as possible? I don't think so.

    [NOTE: I edited this reply to fix the link, but could not edit the "reason" field.]

    And neither does Microsoft. See their document "Guidelines for Designing and Developing Accessible Web Sites by Using Microsoft Solutions", which states:

    This white paper is intended to help readers better understand the issues involved in making Web sites accessible to people with disabilities, a legal obligation that also benefits all users of the Web.


    --- Al Dunbar



    • Edited by Al Dunbar Monday, February 20, 2012 9:13 PM
    Monday, February 20, 2012 8:43 PM
  • In addition to the information people gave about the differences of the icons...

    You can try to access the forums through MSDN or Microsoft forums rather than through TechNet. Currently, this is a solution to avoid viewing the forums in the TechNet style/branding.

    Here's the trick that works now: remove "technet." from the URL. That gives you the Microsoft branding/style.


    Note that it works currently.

    Thanks!


    Ed Price (a.k.a User Ed), SQL Server Experience Program Manager (Blog, Twitter, Wiki)


    It works currently for some of us. When I type that URL in now, it somehow morphs back to the technet URL. I can get it to stick at forums home, but by the time I navigate to the forums of interest, the technet is back.

    Anyway, the only practical value this has is in comparing the old style with the new one. It's not a solution to those with a problem.


    --- Al Dunbar

    Monday, February 20, 2012 8:56 PM
  • Same here, when I remove technet from the url, it refreshes and the same url comes back with technet. No change for me.


    Richard Mueller - MVP Directory Services

    Monday, February 20, 2012 9:13 PM
    Moderator
  • Same here, when I remove technet from the url, it refreshes and the same url comes back with technet. No change for me.


    Richard Mueller - MVP Directory Services

    This forum thread in Microsoft branding: http://social.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/reportabug/thread/d339efce-6ef1-41c4-8ce9-6b004d5be231/

    Got a thread that I can experiment with?

    Thanks!


    Ed Price (a.k.a User Ed), SQL Server Experience Program Manager (Blog, Twitter, Wiki)

    Monday, February 20, 2012 10:33 PM
    Owner
  • I was trying to get the old style here, but could not:

    http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/winserverpowershell/threads

    This is the forum home page, not a thread. I see now that it works when I select a thread. When I use the breadcrumbs to get back to the forum home page, it reverts to technet again. So it works for individual threads, not the listing threads in a forum.


    Richard Mueller - MVP Directory Services

    Monday, February 20, 2012 11:21 PM
    Moderator
  • I agree, old style was better. New icons merge in eyes (proposed answers have a little difference with discussions). All icons in one bubble picture is not a good idea.
    Friday, February 24, 2012 9:08 AM