A few reasons you should never use pure black for backgrounds or text

Black and white text on the wall

Pure Black Text on White Backgrounds

Pure black text on white backgrounds can cause eye strain and make it difficult for your users to read for extended periods of time. White is 100% color brightness and black 0, but this difference in color brightness can create intense light levels that overpower your reader. In the video, it showed that when scrolling, your eyes have to work a lot harder to adjust.

Turning on a bright light in a dark room throws the darkness away for sure. This quick change can be tough on your eyes, which is one reason why it's not advised to experiment with light sources at night. But we read better in lower light because our eyes adjust to changes in brightness easier - as when we turn on a dim light in a dark room.

Comparision of black and gray text on white background

Instead of black text, use dark gray text on a white background, so the brightness change is less drastic. This prevents overstimulation of the retina and allows users to read for a more extended period.

As you can read on research study: white text on black background stimulates the "ON" cells in your eyes more than black text on white, which is why some people find it easier to read. A new study by a team of scientists suggests that "white text from a black screen could inhibit myopia, while black text on white background may stimulate myopia." It advises against reading exclusively in dark environments because of the disturbing effects of contrast polarity.

White Text on Pure Black Backgrounds

You should avoid using a pure black background when it comes to web design. A pure black background will block all of the light emitting from the screen, making it difficult for your viewers to read your text. Due to the reflection of light from most screens at different angles, this makes one’s eyes work harder and open wider. This is why some people suffer from a condition called “halation” whereby white letters can bleed into the black background and make text blurry.

Comparision of black and gray background with white text

Consider using a dark gray background for better illumination and increased reading stamina.

High Contrast for Accessibility

Pure black shouldn’t be harmful to all users. Low vision users, who are sight impaired but not legally blind, tend to read text better with pure black text or white text on a black background. Designing for people with color blindness can be difficult, but there are a few tricks you can use. Try using black instead of dark gray for an accessibility mode and make sure to design with normal-sighted users in mind as well

Balanced Contrast for Better Readability

High color contrast is useful for readability. Color contrast is essential for text to be readable, as it affects the user’s eyes. A balance of contrast between the text and background color that’s clear without being too bright or too dark is ideal.

If you're ever unsure about your color contrast, you should use a color contrast checker to get a sense of what the optimal range is for you. As long as your contrast isn’t too low, the tool doesn’t check for contrast issues. But if it ever detects a high level of contrast where some people may not be able to see, then it will notify you as soon as possible.

Whether you are using black and white, or other colors for text, make sure you think about how it will affect the user. Designing to reduce the stress on your eyes is vital. For example, if you make your images as large and clear as possible then people will spend more time reading with less strain on their eyes.

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