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If I am not missing something serious, I am seeing this site with horrible readability.

  • almost white background with hardly visible Honeycomb-ish pattern (come on, almost same color as the input box?)

  • the green-ish question title and other texts may hardly point to Android, otherwise rendering the pages almost unreadable. In fact, it hurt my eyes when I checked out the newsletter in my inbox.

  • as per Google's direction, this Meta site is not using Android's bot logo properly:

Android robot

The Android robot can be used, reproduced, and modified freely in marketing communications. The color value for print is PMS 376C and the online hex color is #A4C639.

What do you think? Should we revise the color palette?

  • If you think it is that bad you could use a Userscript to override the CSS and make it clearer for you. – Chenmunka Dec 18 '13 at 11:18
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The first thing to understand was that this Stack Exchange site graduated from beta to a full site two and a half years ago. The design was set up at that time, and at that time Android v3.x aka Honeycomb was the newest version of the Android OS. You can see the thoughts from Jin, Stack Exchange's designer in this post: Design ideas for Android.se Site. (follow-up design talks: Design mockups for final site theme, New Design Launched & Roboto is the new Droid.

The honeycomb-ed background is obviously based on the idea of Android Honeycomb, and in my opinion is nicely understated, just adding a bit of texture to the page. It's also physically isolated from the input boxes, which are either surrounded by white or black, so I'm not sure what the relevance of being nearly the same colour as the border of the input box has? You could certainly make an argument that Honeycomb is a fairly old version of Android now, but at the same time re-designing the site every time a new version of Android releases is probably a bit more work than Stack Exchange have time for while they're still busy launching new sites every month, all with their own unique designs.

The "green-ish question title and other texts" points exactly to Android, for the reason that you yourself mention, that green colour is #A4C639.

this Meta site is not using Android's bot logo properly

If you have a look around the Stack Exchange network, "meta" sites always use a desaturated/greyed-out/monochrome version of the main site's theme. The site/Android logo on the main Android.SE site is based on #A4C639, the logo for the meta site is just a grey version of the same logo. Android's branding guidelines allow for this sort of modification, monochrome-ing a logo is very different from making it pink with yellow polka-dots.

that said, do you have any specific suggestions for how these things could be improved?

  • thanks @GAThrawn for ur nice answer. – kmonsoor Dec 18 '13 at 10:56
  • before posting this Q, i went through Jin's threads. they are quite outdated but relevant in current concept. maybe my question was a bit over-caffeinated, or my monitor's is off-calibrated a bit. my main concern is to (in process of evolution) 1. re-consider the (almost) indifference between background, foreground-frame and input box 2. re-think about the green-ish title (and some other text's) color. – kmonsoor Dec 18 '13 at 11:03
  • @kmonsor, are you having trouble seeing the darker grey borders around all the page elements? – GAThrawn Dec 18 '13 at 11:11
  • depends on calibration. in my office monitor, no, i don't see properly. on the other hand, on the monitor @ home, "yes, i see the borders" properly only if my display is set to "sRGB mode", but mostly invisible if the modes are theater or game or nightview mode. – kmonsoor Dec 18 '13 at 16:24
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  • almost white background with hardly visible Honeycomb-ish pattern (come on, almost same color as the input box?)

It's a background, it's not supposed to pop out.

  • the green-ish question title and other texts may hardly point to Android, otherwise rendering the pages almost unreadable. In fact, it hurt my eyes when I checked out the newsletter in my inbox.

I disagree, I think it says "Android" very well. I also don't have a problem reading the green text. Can you explain how it "hurt" your eyes?

  • as per Google's direction, this Meta site is not using Android's bot logo properly:

Android robot

The Android robot can be used, reproduced, and modified freely in marketing communications. The color value for print is PMS 376C and the online hex color is #A4C639.

"Modified freely" seems to be the key phrase there. I'm also not sure what you think is wrong about it — is it the wrong color? As GAThrawn mentions, Meta always use a grayscale theme.

  • "is it the wrong color?" yeah, you are right. it's about the color – kmonsoor Dec 18 '13 at 8:40

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