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As a radiologist, I spend most of my time at work in a darkened room which aids in the detection of abnormalities on whatever study I happen to be looking at.
Spending the majority of my time in this work environment has essentially shifted my visual spectrum into the dark side.
When I first decided to dip my toes into the blogosphere and take that first step, the first duty was to design a website.
As loyal readers have no doubt picked up by now, my website has gone with a dark theme, with a dark background and lighter text.
I chose this particular color palette because it was pleasing to the eye for me in my dark surroundings.
When I happen to read a blog or website that has a white background during my short breaks between cases, it actually is quite visually jarring as I go from a low light environment to a computer screen with a bright background website.
Another reason for this color scheme was that I felt it set me apart from other websites.
As my readership and pageviews grew, I felt that my idiosyncrasies were able to translate into the blogosphere well.
However, as my popularity grew and this website continued to reach into further corners of the blogosphere, there was a faction of my audience that gave vocal push back against this website design choice, often quoting the dark background and garish color choices.
There was another audience faction which cited that the white lettering was often hard on their eyes.
Having already written so many posts, I thought it would be almost impossible to just flip the color scheme without individually going through every post, changing the various heading colors, etc.
It would be incredibly time consuming and quite frustrating to alter every post to fit with a lighter background (plus there was a great pull for me to keep the current scheme as it was pleasing for my (weird) eyes.
It was indeed a daunting task and I felt like I was sort of stuck between a rock and a hard place regarding what should be done.
Well leave it to the White Coat Investor who indirectly gave me a solution to this dilemma.
You see, Jim Dahle awhile back had a new website redesign and called it his “Fancy Homepage.”
To appease those who do not like change, myself included, he also graciously kept the “Classic Blog” style, which is the one I prefer.
About a week ago a light bulb moment happened and I thought could I not do the same thing with one version representing the original “Dark Side” version and an alternate version for those who wish a lighter background, which I have decided to christen, “The Jedi Mode.”
Because it was a fundamental change in the blog theme I was using, coupled with the fact that color changes are much more complicated than changes in layout, my workaround is not quite as elegant as Jim Dahle’s website.
I do hope that the benefits far outweigh some of the issues that I already have discovered and are unavoidable:
- The biggest issue I have found and see no obvious solution is that the commenting on each post will be kept separate (those who comment in the dark side version will not see the light version comments and vice versa).
- And as much as I wanted to make the background completely white, I found that if I went this option, all my previous posts that had yellow or green text in it (essentially all of them) would have a “washed out” look and be illegible.
- I therefore had to slowly darken the background color until there was a good compromise between my highlighted text and readability.
- Because this workaround was essentially accomplished by cloning the original site, if a post contains an internal link (a link to another post on this website), it unfortunately is automatically directed to the dark version (although a light version of it does indeed exist).
- I wanted to go back and manually change links but after the first post I did it on, I realized that would be a monumental task and decided that “it is what it is.”
- Going forward I will try and make sure that internal links from whatever version you prefer will direct you to that preferred version.
- If an internal link takes you to a dark version post, you can do one of two things:
- Search that title in the light version mode
- Add “jedimode.” in front of xrayvsn.com in front of the browser URL the link takes you to.
I am sure there will be other minor hiccups but I do hope that I can now appease those initial readers by offering them a substitute site to view my posts on.
If someone with more technical expertise than me (which is not saying much) has a better solution I would welcome the advice.
But for now I leave you with the following Dilemma:
Are you part of the Dark Side?
Or are you part of the light my young Padawan?
[The corresponding icon will be located at the top of each version’s home page.]
To have all the votes register to one site, please go to the dark version and cast your opinion on which version you prefer on the poll at the end of the dark version post.
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You should conduct a scientific survey to find at what age marker people prefer to change to the lighter scheme. I switched over and I am 44.
That is actually a very interesting thought. I know my girlfriend is the same age range and had issue with the dark theme and I remember you warning me of it in the beginning as well. Well I am glad that you are able to enjoy the site better with the lighter background/dark text combination. Thank you for sticking through with the dark theme, just glad I found a workaround that didn’t involve me having to go into each post and change the details.