As a paid search project manager I spend much of my day using Google for any number of reasons. By the end of the day my eyes are often tired from reading ad after ad on the bright white background that has been Google’s trademark since the beginning.
Earlier this year, Google decided to help raise awareness of global energy consumption by changing the background on the front page of their site from white to black. I thought that the black background was very slick and a nice change from the norm. Sadly, the next day the page was changed back to eye searing white.
Right away I started looking for a way that I could enjoy the eye-pleasing darkness all the time. A few searches later and I found that I wasn’t the only one that likes the way that Google looked when the lights were off and that there was already a solution that would allow me to keep them off or even change their color.
The solution I found came in the form of a Firefox extension called Stylish.
Stylish lets you customize your browsing experience by modifying the appearance of sites you visit with what are known as “userstyles”. Userstyles are cascading style sheets (CSS) that Stylish users have created that can change the look of color schemes, buttons, and just about anything else that can be found on a typical webpage.
There is a large repository of these styles on a site called Userstyles.org. Here you can find styles that others have customized to their own liking for sites like Google, Yahoo, Wikipedia and even Facebook.
After a quick look around I found a style that made not only the front page of Google a dark grey but the search results pages as well. Success! Well, almost. The gray looked nice but I was really searching for a true black. With a few modifications to the userstyle code, I was in a dark browsing bliss.
After using the style for a few days I noticed that my eyes weren’t as tired at the end of the day and that reading search result pages seemed easier. Needless to say I haven’t looked back since.
I would suggest that if you are already a Firefox user that you install Stylish and give it a try. Installation takes one click, as does the loading of new userstyles from Userstyles.org.
You can load a number of styles and try them out at your own pace until you find one that works for you. If you can’t find one that meets your needs you can write your own style or customize an existing one if you know a thing or two about CSS.
Overall, I think Stylish is a fun and easy way to make browsing the web a more enjoyable and personalized experience. The Official Oneupweb Review… OneUp Thumbs-Up.