Best font + color scheme to maximize keyboard readability?

Rayndalf

29 Jan 2021, 02:42

If I wanted to make the most easily readable keyboard what colorscheme would be best?

Do color coded modifiers improve accessibility? Would a font like Open Dyslexic https://www.opendyslexic.org improve the readability of keycap legends?

I've seen a lot of IDE colorschemes used for GMK keysets, but I'm wondering if that used of color actually improves usability (or is it just stylish?)

Just a lot of questions I guess. I'm hoping to learn more than the "maximize contrast" I hear thrown around.

jsheradin

29 Jan 2021, 23:36

Some of the commonly available 'high contrast' sets are just black text on bright yellow with large letters. It would really depend on the person what's most readable though; max contrast isn't always the best option.

Some forms of sight/reading impairments benefit from different color schemes. A common dyslexia friendly scheme is dark blue on pale cream while Irlen syndrome is more inconsistent between people (I think black on light green is common, brown on light purple worked great for my roomate). There's whole fields of people who dedicate their lives to studying this stuff. You can find tons of published papers out there.

Rayndalf

02 Feb 2021, 07:22

jsheradin wrote:
29 Jan 2021, 23:36
Some of the commonly available 'high contrast' sets are just black text on bright yellow with large letters. It would really depend on the person what's most readable though; max contrast isn't always the best option.

Some forms of sight/reading impairments benefit from different color schemes. A common dyslexia friendly scheme is dark blue on pale cream while Irlen syndrome is more inconsistent between people (I think black on light green is common, brown on light purple worked great for my roomate). There's whole fields of people who dedicate their lives to studying this stuff. You can find tons of published papers out there.
Dark blue on pale cream similar to the original Kinesis Advantage?
I personally enjoy that colorscheme and find it a great middle ground between OG beige and black on white. Do you think that color coding modifiers (similar to Desko modifiers for example) would help?

I guess I really need to track down some proper research papers.

HuBandiT

05 Feb 2021, 01:38

If I recall correctly, Wyszecki & Stiles has some info on visibility and readability – granted it is not the newest source, but if you can find it in your local library, it is worth a read.

This is what I put together for my elderly father to improve contrast and navigation over his previous, run of the mill, light gray lettering on black keys keyboard, used in a dimly lit room:
P1040979.jpg
P1040979.jpg (386.04 KiB) Viewed 273 times
Font is Segoe UI (to have unambiguous letter forms), in a heavy weight (to have better contrast). Blocks are coloured to provide visual anchors/cues for easier navigation.

He reports a much better usability, his computer usage improved a lot. Probably the biggest factor was the better contrast afforded by the white keys with black lettering. But I assume the colourful landscape also helps: with the previous one he had issues with modifiers and hotkey combinations and tried to do everything wastefully with a mouse, but with the new keyboard he gradually started adopting modifiers and hotkeys.

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