Author Topic: Best color scheme for keycap readability?  (Read 611 times)

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Offline Rayndalf

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Best color scheme for keycap readability?
« on: Thu, 28 January 2021, 19:24:23 »
I have a pretty terrible idea brewing and I'm curious, does anyone have any idea what keycap color schemes are most readable/accessible?

From what I understand various IDE colorschemes have transitioned to keysets well, but are those colorschemes actually easier to read than black on white?

If I wanted to make a set of keycaps for people with vision impairments or disabilities, would color coding certain keys (like Handerbeit or keyboards marketed for young children) help?

Offline fpazos

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Re: Best color scheme for keycap readability?
« Reply #1 on: Fri, 29 January 2021, 02:39:25 »
Usually. The best readable combination is black on Yellow, that's why most danger signs have this combination. If I remember ok from when I studied graphic design, others bright colors works well too. I made a high readability set having my mom in mind but I messed it with crazy novelties hahahaha

You can see how the alphas pop out compared to other keys.
 

Offline Rayndalf

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Re: Best color scheme for keycap readability?
« Reply #2 on: Thu, 11 February 2021, 00:46:31 »
Usually. The best readable combination is black on Yellow, that's why most danger signs have this combination. If I remember ok from when I studied graphic design, others bright colors works well too. I made a high readability set having my mom in mind but I messed it with crazy novelties hahahaha
Show Image


You can see how the alphas pop out compared to other keys.

Interesting. Do you find the contrast between alphas and numrow/punctuation and the modifiers makes typing easier?

Personally I find OG biege or dark blue on white (OG white Kinesis Advantage or the alphas from Bento) to be very readable and I prefer them to white legends on black keycaps. I like the size of those alphas, but I wonder to smaller top left corner justified letters are easier to read when they're covered by finge tips.

I guess I really need to find some studies/hard data because I know what I like, but I might have just have bad taste or poor intuition.

Offline fpazos

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Re: Best color scheme for keycap readability?
« Reply #3 on: Thu, 11 February 2021, 04:21:16 »

Interesting. Do you find the contrast between alphas and numrow/punctuation and the modifiers makes typing easier?


Really not too much. This keyset was made with this weird industrial aesthetic in mind, so it isn't 100% functional, first of all I don't need to see the keys to write so I can't help too much.

For readability there are other important factors. The font is one of the most important things that affects readability and this one isn't too readable, maybe a Helvetica could be better (during history every font has its function, try to find one that suits a keyboard). Bigger doesn't mind better, in the photo you can read the letters very well, but in reality the alphas are a bit too big, with little blank space around that isn't good. Also, the different colors make it fun, but I think that isn't helping as, for example, if someone tries to find a character it won't be easy reading it when there is a bright color next to it.

I think that this is an interesting topic, I don't know if someone has worked on this before (I imagine there should be).
Reached this point I think the best way is to print the set to its full size and make a study between people with visual impairment if that's your goal.
 

Offline Rayndalf

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Re: Best color scheme for keycap readability?
« Reply #4 on: Fri, 12 February 2021, 12:28:17 »

Interesting. Do you find the contrast between alphas and numrow/punctuation and the modifiers makes typing easier?


Really not too much. This keyset was made with this weird industrial aesthetic in mind, so it isn't 100% functional, first of all I don't need to see the keys to write so I can't help too much.

For readability there are other important factors. The font is one of the most important things that affects readability and this one isn't too readable, maybe a Helvetica could be better (during history every font has its function, try to find one that suits a keyboard). Bigger doesn't mind better, in the photo you can read the letters very well, but in reality the alphas are a bit too big, with little blank space around that isn't good. Also, the different colors make it fun, but I think that isn't helping as, for example, if someone tries to find a character it won't be easy reading it when there is a bright color next to it.

I think that this is an interesting topic, I don't know if someone has worked on this before (I imagine there should be).
Reached this point I think the best way is to print the set to its full size and make a study between people with visual impairment if that's your goal.
You're probably right. I'm sure there are actually studies on this subject, but a lot of research in this field doesn't seem to be publicly available.