Accessibility issues in the new theme

Thomas Jaeger thjaeger at
Mon Apr 5 20:40:43 UTC 2010


I'm not sure how to get the theme developers' attention, so I'll try
this mailing list.  I feel that the new theme is a step backwards in
terms of accessibility, making ubuntu harder to use for people with
less-than-perfect eye sight, user of high-resolution screens and people
who use their laptop in adverse lighting conditions (e.g. sunlight).

There are two main issues with that I have with the current design of
the theme.  The first issue is the size of window decorations.  When
increasing the size of the title bar font (or the dpi settings), the
window decorations don't scale up accordingly [1].  This makes it
unnecessarily hard to hit the close, minimize or maximize button and
increases the chances of hitting the wrong one.  This is exacerbated by
the fact that there is no visual indication of whether the close button
is currently pushed down.  The rationale for this is supposed to be that
metacity doesn't support scaling buttons, but I found this not to be
true in my own testing (see [1]).

The second issue is contrast:  It just doesn't make any sense to me why
text should be gray-on-white instead of black-on-white.  Having less
contrast means you have to crank up display brightness while on battery,
wasting precious battery life or causing more eye strain.  It is quite
shocking to me how much clearer text on the screen becomes if I adjust
the colors so that text appears black.  This might not be much of a
concern on current monitors, which don't have to sacrifice backlight
brightness for power consumption, but it is on most laptops.



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