Color palette / scheme for use at night ?

22 Sep 2009 - 9:03am
5 years ago
6 replies
2867 reads
Rutger van Dijk
2008

Hello,

I'm looking for some best practices or guidelines for color schemes
used in our port management system at night or in low light
conditions.

At our company we have shift workers on vessels in the harbour, who
also work at night. Having to look at bright coloured, high contrast
screens all night is more tiring than we expected.

Is it common to introduce a 'night color scheme' which is more easy
to read or look at ?

And how would a standard 'night' theme look like ?

With regards,

Rutger van Dijk

Comments

22 Sep 2009 - 9:13am
Anonymous

When I've worked in certain offices where the majority of people liked
to keep the lights low or off all the time - I felt the same fatigue -
esp. if I was coding or writing (black text on white background).

Generally the practice we used to reduce this fatigue was to invert
the contrast - by which I mean kick it old-school with black
backgrounds and light grey or green text for text editing.

Photographers and other visual media editors long ago found that they
were better able to focus on the stuff they were working on when all
their backgrounds, tools, palettes etc. were a neutral dark grey. This
helped the in-focus items stand out, and not get confused w/ a
colorful or splashy/flashy UI. This is basically the standard now for
media editors - dark backgrounds w/ light text/icons etc.

Brandon E. B. Ward
brandonebward at gmail.com
UI • UX • Ix Design
Flex • Flash Development
Portfolio: http://www.uxd.me
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/brandonebward
VisualCV: http://www.visualcv.com/brandonebward

A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion,
butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance
accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders,
give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new
problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight
efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.
- Robert A. Heinlein

On Sep 22, 2009, at 8:03 AM, Rutger van Dijk wrote:

Hello,

I'm looking for some best practices or guidelines for color schemes
used in our port management system at night or in low light
conditions.

At our company we have shift workers on vessels in the harbour, who
also work at night. Having to look at bright coloured, high contrast
screens all night is more tiring than we expected.

Is it common to introduce a 'night color scheme' which is more easy
to read or look at ?

And how would a standard 'night' theme look like ?

With regards,

Rutger van Dijk
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22 Sep 2009 - 9:30am
.pauric
2006

Rutger: "Is it common to introduce a 'night color scheme' which is
more easy to read or look at ? "

Yes, I'd recommend taking a look a Furuno's range of radar & sonar
for best in class marine displays & UI's
http://tinyurl.com/lbctxm
"The monitor provides crisp radar echoes, which are presented in a
selected color with a day or night background color for easy
observation all lighting conditions."

regards /pauric

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22 Sep 2009 - 9:56am
Stephen Nitz
2009

Interesting.

Have you looked at car dash illumination for ideas?

The darker it is the dimmer the dash lights need to be. I would
wonder if you could introduce a software or hardware "dimmer
switch"

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22 Sep 2009 - 10:45pm
martinpolley
2007

Hi Rutger,

If preservation of natural night
vision<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Night_vision>is an issue, consider
using only red (and black). Red light apparently has
less of a negative impact on natural night vision than other colors (though
some assert that green is
better<http://www.astromax.org/activities/members/kniffen.htm>).
Whichever color is chosen, intensity is more important than color (dimmer
light has a lower impact than brighter light).

Hope this helps,

Martin Polley
Technical writer, interaction designer
+972 52 3864280
Twitter: martinpolley
<http://capcloud.com/>

On Tue, Sep 22, 2009 at 11:03 AM, Rutger van Dijk <rlvdijk at chello.nl> wrote:

> ...
>
> Is it common to introduce a 'night color scheme' which is more easy
> to read or look at ?
>
> And how would a standard 'night' theme look like ?
> ...
>

22 Sep 2009 - 10:08am
Bowen Hendy
2009

How about the colour schemes used in tom-tom interfaces there is an
example here >

http://www.tomtomforums.com/tomtom-color-schemes/5943-new-matching-day-night-color-schemes.html

B)

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23 Sep 2009 - 5:34am
jasonrobb
2009

Wow. Another reason why I love the IxDA list: Such an awesome range of
problems worth discussing. Thanks for the links, ideas and
suggestions, folks! Keep it up.

As you were,

Jason R.
http://jasonrobb.com
http://twitter.com/jasonrobb

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