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Let's say I have a messaging app, where multiple users can post messages to a common discussion board. Each message on the board contains the user's name and the user's comment. The color for the comment can be "themed" by the app's admin.

Should I set the color of the text input for the comment to match how it is displayed on the discussion board, or should I leave it as the default color - as set by the platform the app is running on?

I feel like users don't expect to see a "color" in text inputs, but I also think that typing in a comment in 1 color, and then immediately seeing it in another feels slightly broken.

A or B? enter image description here

  • My immediate reaction is "this is WAY too bright." Color can be used, but make sure that the color used is different for both users so they don't confuse who's who on first glance. – Majo0od Feb 19 '16 at 17:39
  • Sorry if I didn't make it clear, but the Pink color is just an example, it can be whatever the app's admin sets it to. – Neballer Feb 19 '16 at 18:03
  • I updated the post a bit, It was a bit unclear. Multiple users can post messages to the discussion board - anywhere from 2 - 500 users. – Neballer Feb 19 '16 at 18:11
  • Why does the admin have to change text color? They'll make poor choices like yellow text on white or black text on red and then the users will have to suffer through it. Text color should be set to an optimal reading experience. – Eric Stoltz Feb 23 '16 at 0:17
  • While I totally agree with you, those are the requirements for this project. – Neballer Feb 23 '16 at 13:21
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I would go with option B. More consistent. If you want to ensure that admins to not change the text/background color to poor looking option maybe you can consider giving the "color presets" / skins instead of free form color change.

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  • A note on bright vs dark colors, is if you want to limit it to a brightness range, keep it in the 25%-75% range, because too dark doesn't justify having the color in most cases and too bright causes eye sores. The range to limit color choices would have to be tweaked to get a proper max and min. Black should always be an option too! But this is only if admins can change board colors. If it's not one of the options then hurray for conceptual thinking! – Leviscus Tempris Aug 20 '16 at 11:28
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I wouldn't pick either of them because I don't think its a good idea to use different a colour for each text messages. You should always maintain high contrast between the text and the background to ensure good readability. High contrast makes text easier to read on different devices, not to mention helps with accessibility. I suggest you use a combination of black colour text against white background.

You should explore other ways of differentiating comments from different users. Such as changing the colour of the user name (similar to Whatsapp) or include an avatar beside each comment.

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  • I am not trying to differentiate comments from different users. The color of the comments will be the same for every/any user who posts to the board. The "Default" color is black - as you suggested. However, the admin, or "Owner" of the discussion board is able to change the color of every comment (.commentClass { color: @val } ) to any color they want. It could be pink, as shown above, or it could be forest green, navy blue, blood red, etc, etc. – Neballer Feb 21 '16 at 15:04
  • In that case i would go with B, its more consistent. – adamsoh Feb 22 '16 at 6:49

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