Paint it black, please

As noted, an all white web page uses about 74 watts to display, while an all black page uses only 59 watts.

- The energy lowdown on black vs. white webpages.

While the debate rages on about whether how much more energy-efficient it is for web pages to be served on a black background instead of a white one (eg, "Black Google would save 3000 megawatts"), there is still little doubt that some energy savings would occur across the board.

My own sexy Gnome desktop has had a dark theme for quite some time now, and if you've come to the site you'll notice that the new look is very dark (but still chipper!) compared to the all-white layout I had before. I already did purchase Wind Power Energy Credits for my laptop, but the idea of saving even more energy with zero effort appeals to me.

Granted, the idea of doing anything with zero effort appeals to me.

So, if you're mulling a redesign of your own blog or website, please consider going with a dark or black theme. It's a small step but one that should have an impact on the web's energy drain if more people started going black and never going back as well.

Besides, dark skins look way better than any wussy-assed light skins out there.

Comments

stevenmansour
Thursday, October 18th, 2007
stevenmansour's picture

That's cool, and it doesn't matter much anyways since most people who follow blogs do it in their RSS reader... but I'm from Linux Console World so everything but black backgrounds seems unnatural to me.

Thursday, October 18th, 2007
mir's picture

I think your footer is very minimal and effective. It says, hey look at me I am just the bottom of this webpage nothing more nothing less.

Here's an idea: Sell your car move downtown, bike everywhere, and make a site on #66666 or #33333 as a compromise? White on black texts eats it.

I think irritating you is going to be hobby #1 of 2008.

stevenmansour
Friday, October 19th, 2007
stevenmansour's picture

First of all, it's not white on black, it's medium-steel-gray on black.

Second of all, it's not done yet, but it already looks awesome and doesn't "eat it", as you put it.

Third of all, the only reason light-on-dark designs seem unreadable to you is because you're looking at bright-white pages all day, and when you switch to a dark one, your pupil has to adjust quickly, causing eyestrain. If more of the web was dark, this would be less of a problem. Ever since I switched to a darker working environment, I've been able to work longer and more comfortably.

Fourth of all, black is the new black. You can't argue with it.

Fifth of all, put a sock in it and get a feed reader, n00b. .. :p

Friday, October 19th, 2007
hugh's picture

hmm... for my eyes the white text gets all fuzzy and floaty - esp the bold stuff, but also just the regular text. which makes my eyes, and head hurt. so i can't read it too long.

also, i don't want a feed reader, but what if i get a feed reader with a white background, black text - what then?

stevenmansour
Saturday, October 20th, 2007
stevenmansour's picture

for my eyes the white text gets all fuzzy and floaty

You might want to get that checked. :p

also, i don't want a feed reader, but what if i get a feed reader with a white background, black text - what then?

You don't use a feed reader? How do you keep up with blogs and stuff that you're interested in? If you get a feed reader then any content will be formatted the way you want / according to your settings, ie white background and black text (so passé).

Saturday, October 20th, 2007
mir's picture

I didn't say your design eats it. I said that white on black text eats it.

I would never criticize your work.

Sunday, November 18th, 2007
vieux bandit's picture

Although I find you design quite legible, I too find that light text on a dark background hurts my eyes (I had a friend who's blog would make me see lines for looong minutes after reading her quite long posts... I'd copy them in notepad and read them there!). If you were to post a long text that I really wanted to read, that's what I'd do too.

I don't do feeds either. I like to see things in context. Yup, it means I don't follow everything as much as I used to -- but that's because life has been taking its toll on my free time (as in, I have none of it -- hey! looky here, I'm TAKING some!).

I see your point about adjusting to a darker work environment, but that's very computer-centric, and my work is, granted, mostly done on a computer, but not always. My reference books are still on white paper, I often am asked to proof on paper, etc. I don't know much about it, but I assume there's also a light-sensitivity issue here -- e.g., I know people who need to keep lights dim and like it that way, but I can't take it. I need true light if I'm reading or just living. Even when I work at my computer, in the late afternoon when the light starts to fade I start to feel tired and have trouble concentrating if I don't add lights.

And medium-steel grey? Well, I believe you, but... ;-)

stevenmansour
Monday, November 19th, 2007
stevenmansour's picture

It seems lots of people aren't using feed readers. For me it's a happy medium between spending more time visiting people's blogs, and having enough time to read through everything I need / want to - I follow over 250 feeds now, and many of them post daily. It's mostly for work though, so YMMV.

I am someone who prefers a darker environment for work, though I do need light at regular intervals or I get measurably depressed. I could write about it for hours here, but suffice it to say that I do my best work in darkness but when I'm not working I need as much light as possible.

Kirby Foster
Saturday, August 31st, 2013
Kirby Foster's picture

I ran across this site while trying to figure out why the hell anybody would use a black background with white text. It absolutely sucks.

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