I have spent more than 30 years in publishing, both print and online. One of the most basic principles of design requires black type on a white background for the sake of legibility.
Have you every read a newspaper, magazine or other periodical that has all gray type?
I am a big fan of HubPages for all kinds of reasons, including the site design, but I do have a concern about the amount of gray type the site uses. The grayest of all is the photo captions.
Poor legibility discourages readership, especially among older readers.
How do the rest of you feel about it?
I have a +1 reading glass prescription, but I don't have any problem reading the captions without my glasses on a 4 inch screen. Maybe the font could be sized up a notch, and darkened, but possibly that could end up in the captions being less differentiated from the main body text
Not really a problem for me. Remember, you can increase the font size on any webpage (command + on a Mac), an advantage that doesn't exist in print media. On mobile, Hubpages automatically serves up a mobile-friendly version of all pages.
It may technically be a dark gray but it reads as an easily legible black font to me.
Tested this by looking at a couple of the OP's Irish hubs.
The caption text looks more light grey than dark to me.
I can just about read it, but what I experienced was that the lightness of the text meant that it appeared subordinate to the body text. If I happened on such a design by chance, I probably would not bother to read the captions at all, because they look unimportant on the page.
Overall, screen reading is becoming a customization on the user end.
Remember, HubPages only cares and focuses on how the site looks on a phone now, they've said so on multiple occasions now.
I think the captions are meant to be fairly discreet to avoid interfering with reading of the main text
That seems logical to me. Unless the photo is directly illustrating the text, I think it's better for it to play second fiddle to the text. If the photo is directly illustrating the text, such as on a step-by-step tutorial, you can put words directly on the photo itself, giving it whatever level of importance you desire.
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