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More Accessible Default Theme Colors

dlyons
Instructure
Instructure
7 7 1,227

Brand identity is a precious thing to most organizations and institutions, but that shouldn't stop us from making accessibility the default whenever possible. That's why we're updating the default Canvas theme to have better contrast. Most obviously this means updating the default Link color, along with other colors used in places that aren't typically branded anyway, like info, confirmation, and warning colors.

Bye bye, #008EE2. Hello, #0374B5!Bye bye, #008EE2. Hello, #0374B5!

 

Everyone will benefit from many of these changes and the single largest Canvas instance, Free For Teachers, is using the default theme colors which means all of these updates will improve the experience for a whole lot of users. Some of you reading this may not be all that concerned with the default Canvas theme because your institution isn't using it. Remember a second ago when I said how important branding is to most institutions?

Even though nearly every institution brands most of Canvas, a surprising number actually leave the default Link color! If that sounds like your institution now is a great time to let your Canvas admin know they need to get on the #0374B5 Link color train.

These may seem like small changes, but for the folks impacted it can make a world of difference. And while it is simple to change colors technologically, it can be a challenge to juggle branding and accessibility. There's still more work to do, but we hope these changes will make Canvas just a little bit more inclusive and welcoming to all our users.

Tags (1)
7 Comments
abbyrosensweig
Community Participant

Thanks for these updates. Speaking of accessibility and viewing options, is a dark/night mode option for Canvas in the works?

dlyons
Instructure
Instructure

@abbyrosensweig, there is ongoing research for dark mode. I can't say when it will happen if it happens though. It's a tricky problem since we have to account for color choices users might make when authoring content in Canvas. Still, we are interested in making it happen if we can! 

christopher_phi
Community Champion

This has been a long time coming - great work! 

jsowalsk
Advocate

@dlyons will this be the place to check for when these updates will be pushed out?

dlyons
Instructure
Instructure

@jsowalsk, I will try to remember to update this post when the changes are deployed, but the for sure place to watch is always the Canvas Release Notes

jsowalsk
Advocate

 Thank you!

chriscas
Community Champion

Hi @dlyons,

I've been reviewing our theming over the last few days, and came across an blog post on link color on WebAIM.  I just want to say that if Instructure is going to adjust default theme colors, why not go for AAA compliance?  The color choices are very limited (#3344dd is suggested for link blue), but in my mind Instructure should be aiming high and setting the standard for everyone else to follow.

-Chris