Major Accessibility & Eye Strain Issue: Unchangeable "True Black" Background

It’s been over a week with no indication that the third feedback thread is even being monitored, so I’m elevating the eye-strain and accessibility issue I reported over a week ago.

TL;DR: There’s a reason NO OTHER APP uses “true black” as a background in dark mode, and accessibility is why.

  • The unchangeable black background is a major accessibility concern for people who are susceptible to either – and note that these are independent of each other, so players can suffer from one or both:
    • halation & eye-strain. This is especially aggravated where people with OLED monitors – which produce “true black” by an actual lack of light – Photon UI’s unchangeable “true black” background causes player’s eyes to physically dilate due to lack of light and the physical need to intake more light, and as a consequence of dilation it reduces the eye’s ability to focus without straining itself. There is a reason optometrists give people eye protection when they dilate peoples’ eyes. Thus, in comparison, the eye has to physically strain itself to bring into focus any of the bright text on this black background. If the player cannot or does not strain their eyes, they experience halation, which results in all UI visuals appearing blurry. The additional padding and space introduced by the UI has the effect of introducing “more true black” which exacerbates this problem. The very bright “pure white” elements and subtle “pure white” vs “light grey” vs “medium grey” of the different “not-selected, selected, highlighted” states all wind up being blurry and indistinguishable from one another, adding to the eye strain.
    • Astigmatism. Depending on where you cut off the line, an estimated 30-60% of adults suffer from an astigmatism. When the eye dilates as described in the previous paragraph, it aggravates people’s astigmatism by exposing more of the deformed part of the eye’s lens to more light. It results in the player seeing the information appearing as if double-visioned. And this too stems from the unchangeable “true black” background.

As you can see, Photon UI has a major accessibility problem that is NOT CHANGEABLE by the user. The old UI allows changing the background of all windows to be anything other than “true black”, so the old UI does not suffer from this major accessibility problem.

CCP, ignore at your own peril.


Strokes chin, humm, I use a TV will that do the same?

The principles remain the same, but to determine whether you’re affected is really a case by case basis. Only you will be able to tell.

Some folks won’t have issues. Some folks with astigmatism even might not have issues, depending on the severity of their condition, where the defect is on the lens of the eye, and the kind of monitor setup they use, and ambient lighting of their gaming space.

How it manifested for me: I attempted to do a DED 6/10 as mentioned in my original feedback. At first, everything in the UI felt slightly blurry and the drone window especially was hard to focus on. By the end of the site, I felt like my eyes were exhausted and sore and I felt that I needed to look at anything else other than a screen, and the screen looked blurrier to me than at the beginning.

That’s when I put it together: the extreme brightness variance with my monitor and my knowledge that I am fairly prone to halation of bright light sources at night.

Humm, yeah can’t say I am having an issue however when the sinuses get inflamed eye strain and bright light is a problem.

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