Black-on-black is hurting my brain

How do I distinguish between background and UI elements when they are both black, and only a thin dim line is hinting there’s something there?

Screenshot 2022-11-25 at 22.34.08

In the fleet/chat window, where does the channel text end and the text input field begin?


+100. The current “minimalistic” UI approach may “look cool” in some circles, but it’s really fighting against usability.

A 10% brightness difference between window background and window separating line elements, and one-pixel line widths - is not enough. Brutally dark color theme choices, plus Photon UI as it stands today, is a recipe for perpetual eyestrain in this user.



This is the better Photon flat, modern, minimalistic design in my opinion. Much more informative, less confusing and cleaner and easier to use.


The little dots in the top right of the UI element should allow you to turn on light mode (and compact mode)

Not sure why it’s called “light” mode. It just turns the window translucent, which is even worse.


You can adjust the translucency in the esc menu but your right there should be other options.

That said you can also customize your windows colors and even have them change to match your ship but this is for Omega only.

The theming (window colors) changes the highlight color of some elements, but the black-on-black in the screenshots I took remains.


I still miss player-selected primary and secondary window colors, possible 10 years ago via RGB color sliders. The new-player-friendly (I admit that they are!) predefined color themes are all shades of eyestrain-inducing darkness. All I’m asking for is a 3rd, 10-20% brighter choice in each of the color groups, especially the background color against which most window text is seen.

The UI has improved in many ways since then, but window elements, separation between functional areas and controls (on any window when it had focus) was clear and consistent across window settings popups and applets.

UI designers wouldn’t have to consult window usage metrics and choose which settings window or applet should have exposed minimize/close buttons, if ALL of them have the controls. I don’t like fishing into the vertical three dots menu for basic features like minimize & close.

Here are some annotated examples of brighter, lower contrast (not white text against 100% black) color schemes I used in 2012:

2012. annotated window elements

In the example below, the edit box we can type in is clearly marked, and any window in focus has exposed control buttons.
2012. blue-gray color scheme via RGB sliders


The defaults are just horrible choices to start the game up. Black on black with see through windows that makes even the man of steel nauseous. Everyone has shown us better “easy on the eyes” examples here. An old online game I use to play, allowed the users to build their own custom UI, and this gave the developer time to work on real important graphic issues. The users would even share their UI and people who lacked the artistic talent could just download a custom look.

Maybe it is too late for the game to toss the Photon and allow a user made UI? It seems like CCP is spinning its wheels here. I really like the second one Circumstantial Evidence.


They won’t ‘toss’ the work on Photon: it’s not fundamentally ‘broken.’ It just needs ‘iteration’ on usability problems that so many have made comments about.


It’s the black scroll bars that get me, it’s absolutely impossible to click various points on the bar to go to different points in a large can, this is functionality that has been there since I started playing and is still possible if you can hit a black target on a black background.


Kylanti Hendar
It’s the black scroll bars that get me, it’s absolutely impossible to click various points on the bar to go to different points in a large can, this is functionality that has been there since I started playing and is still possible if you can hit a black target on a black background.

Yes, I know exactly what you mean.

“It’s the wild color scheme that freaks me,” said Zaphod whose love affair with this ship had lasted almost three minutes into the flight, “Every time you try to operate on of these weird black controls that are labelled in black on a black background, a little black light lights up black to let you know you’ve done it. What is this? Some kind of galactic hyperhearse?” – The Restaurant at the End of the Universe


This is particularly problematic for me. I’ve got tritanomaly which means while I can see the colors blue and yellow, I have difficulty with many hues that contain either of those. The whole black on black and faint differences in hues might be fine for folks with perfect color vision but for those of us without, it’s often exceptionally difficult to proper make out the elements on screen.


YES! Let us change the background colour AND alpha. I really need this feature, not just because of the ultra-high contrast we have at the moment, but because it helps me identify which character I’m looking at at a glance, rather than having to read text from title bar or whatever (I set each omega a different colour).

It’s a really basic thing and easy to implement. I mean it’s VERY easy to implement. So easy I’m kind-of dumbfounded that after multiple requests it hasn’t been done.

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“Bumping” for the OP’s thicker window and other border lines, and wider scroll bars, to improve their click-a-bility.


Yes,… never mind the 15% of the population that is dyslexic. Lets add dots to the background of the already swimming text and remove borders…lower contrast differences. Fine idea.

I remember when green used to be green…

I’m one who complained about high contrast giving me eyestrain, but mainly in regards to bright white text on black; not other text colors. Red/Green are now lower in contrast with the blackness of the background… but I don’t know why the Balance column of your example wasn’t also reduced to the same brightness as the other white text here.


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