Choice Magazine design difficult to read (eye issues)

The latest issue of Choice once again has pretty boxes in light, bright colours with white writing on them.

I have complained before that if there is not much tonal difference between the writing and the background, it is very difficult for people with sight problems to read the information, especially when you use such shiny paper for the magazine and such small fonts.

This is a basic disability issue that your magazine designers really should be aware of. Expect better from Choice!


You didn’t mention the email with which each new Choice Community Summary is brought to our attention. White text on a very pale grey background. Almost totally invisible. It’s beneath each blue heading towards the bottom, in the New For You section.


Hi @algemyone,
Apologies for the trouble caused, we are mindful of visibility and accessibility of content for all and we’ll take a closer look, with our design department.

@warwick - Sorry for the visibility problems. Your Community summary email shouldn’t display that way, it should be bold dark blue text on light grey. If you are willing to send me a screen shot to along with the details of the email service you are using, I can look into fixing this issue asap.

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Another possibility @BrendanMays, while it would be unusual and unexpected for this to be the case, is that email clients (and browsers) can be set to override some formatting as received, including fonts and colours. [quote=“warwick, post:2, topic:14029”]
Almost totally invisible.

Hi Warwick, is it only the Choice messages in the illegible colours, or are other of your messages similarly affected?

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Good point, thanks @PhilT

Thanks for the responses. I’ve emailed you a screen shot and details as requested, Brendan.
No, I haven’t had a similar problem with other emails.

An unrelated annoyance that has crept in earlier this year is that Microsoft seems to have found a way of forcing the use of Internet Explorer. I haven’t used it for years. I use Firefox. Now, when an email in Outlook gives you the option of viewing it in your browser, it will only open in IE, regardless of your default browser. Has anyone found a fix for this?

At least two @warwick, one is not using an account. Get a gmail or yahoo or other account.

If supports it as does gmail, set your outlook account to automatically forward all the email to the gmail (or other) account. Every now and then check the for email misplaced in the SPAM folder.

A second option that might suit is to use Thunderbird or similar as an IMAP client to view email. If you want to stay only with you can have Thunderbird be a POP client and it downloads the entire email to your PC out of Microsoft’s reach. Installing and setting up an IMAP or POP access to an email account via Thunderbird is pretty straight forward and usually automated.

Hi @warwick

Right click the “View Online” link in your email message and copy the link then paste that link into your browser of choice :slight_smile:

Thanks BBG. No it isn’t Just the old Outlook within MS Office. I prefer the POP format. I’ve stuck with Office Outlook because it works well with Windows. I can run two accounts within it (business & personal), and drag and drop emails between the 2 accounts. The business address is within the business’ own web domain, and the personal address is with my local ISP. I can archive business emails in folders in Windows File Explorer, where they are still readable, or drag them back into Outlook if necessary. It just all works well - for most things. If I had a choice I’d still be using Office 2003 under Windows XP. There have been few improvements since then; just fluff, pointless animation, and other “leveraged enhancements to my user experience, moving forward”.

Thanks Grahroll. Yes, I do that sometimes, if I remember. I was just hoping there might be a hidden setting that I can turn off.

Ah there might be a setting you can use depending on your version of Windows it may require the use of Control Panel or in Win 10 the “Default Apps” in “Settings”.

In Win 10 you need to make sure you have set your default browser to Firefox as every time you do the major updates eg Anniversary update, it tends to default again to Edge but I don’t think this is your issue.

Firefox does not natively open .mht or mhtl extensions which I think is what your problem is. To fix this issue you firstly need to get an extension for Firefox called unMHT and install it.

Then you go to “Default Apps” and scroll to the bottom where you will see “Choose default applications by file type” then in this section scroll down until you see .mhtml and .mht which you need to click on each and change to Firefox.

If using an earlier version of windows or you prefer using control panel you need to go to control panel and open “Default Programs” and chose the “Associate a file type or protocol with a program” scroll down to .mht and .mhtl and highlight each one and click “Change program…” and choose Firefox. You may need to click “More apps” in Win 10 to see Firefox as a choice and I think it is “Show more programs” in earlier versions of Windows.

I think this will resolve your issue and hope my instructions help.

Hi @warwick , suggest you check Thunderbird. You can do it all AND escape at least some of Microsoft :wink:

My love of MS bloatware and senseless upgrades is similar to yours, although I have long suspected Microsoft and Intel have a contract where Microsoft adds bloatware so Intel can sell the newest chips the majority would not otherwise need.

I wouldn’t recommend using Yahoo email if you value security - They have had too many major data breaches in recent years & failed to admit it until they were forced to.

True (I was not endorsing any although use gmail myself), although yahoo was just bought out by Verizon and the comments on loss of users from security incidents is telling about users attitudes. Practices at the new “Oath” might change for the better or not.

Regardless, reality is

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I haven’t necessarily noticed this with Choice, but the Techlife magazine I used to get was hopeless like that - it looked like they’d let some kid loose with a texta and highlighted all their headings, making them virtually illegible. One of the reasons I let my subscription lapse. Such a fundamental issues, readability.

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I’ve have similar problems with Choice graphics and layout for ages, but never had the courage to comment. It can be fussy and over designed, though it can be witty and brilliant. I suggest the problem is that those in charge get carried away with the technical possibilities of digital design and lose sight of legibility of the text.


I agree entirely - legibility is more important than clever design.

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Magazines with tyoe on coloured shiny paper is unfortunately a common problem. My elderly mother, who is sight-impaired, can read black type on white paper, but is simply unable to read type on a shiny coloured background. Yet another example of style trumping practicality!

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Thanks BBG,
Sorry for the late reply. I’ll have another look at Thunderbird. I haven’t considered it since I was looking for another browser and changed from IE to Firefox perhaps 9 or 10 years ago.

I also have trouble reading white text on a coloured background (also black text on dark blue or green).

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Yes, it depends on the difference between the colour of the text and the colour of the background: if they are too similar it is hard to read them.

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