Site Feedback: Color Design Hard to Read?

I need a bit of help. When I got my first editor's review, one of the things that was brought up was that, because I have a layout with lighter text on darker background, it's hard to read. I originally hoped to address this issue by dimming down the color of the text so that, while distinct from the background, it was less blinding; however, I've recently heard from another reader that it's still uncomfortable to have to read for a long period of time.

If anyone has a couple seconds, I'd appreciate it if you could look at my home page and give me a quick yes/no on whether or not the text is difficult to read. If people are having trouble with it, I'll start playing around with new designs immediately.

Thank you!

Light print on a dark background is VERY difficult to read for any length of time.

Form feedback, I soon discovered that readers want conventional Times Roman text on a white background. Deviate from that in any way and you will drive a certain percentage of readers away.

At least part of the problem is you are using a very thick font at a very small size and with close spacing. Even black on white, that's going to be difficult to read.

As for Ian's suggestion, Times New Roman isn't a particularly good screen font. Seriffed fonts are great on paper, because all those little serifs help guide your eye along the line. Unfortunately, on screen, at relatively low resolutions, those serifs tend to get blocky, and the resulting visual noise actually detracts from readability. The problem gets worse the smaller the point size.

In your case, the colour is probably a problem, as it does seem to glow on that background, but I'd start by increasing the font size and the line height, and pick a narrower font, then see. You might also want to consider breaking your story into pieces. A lot of scrolling makes anything seem longer, while short pages help visually lighten things, and make the reading go by quicker.

Just had another look, and you are bolding all of the text. Definitely turn that off to start. ;-)

Thanks for the feedback, guys! I'll kill the bold and make the font a little bigger, then start playing with the colors to see what I can do to get a decent-looking dark font/light background set up. I'll consider breaking up the story after - it's something else that's been mentioned to me before, but I haven't yet tackled.

Just popping in to say that killing the bolding made a huge difference on my screen. ^^