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This bit is driving me crazy, and I finally figured out what the source of the problem was: The default link color in the security site is a fairly light faded blue (#3D85B0) making links less visible, while visited links are visibly higher saturation and higher contrast against the background (#1b608a), making them more visible than unvisited links.

The end result is that new questions are effectively "greyed out" and less visible in comparison to old questions. That is, the when you visually scan the list of questions, the questions that you have already visited stand out, while the new ones fade into the background.

This is backwards. The question you haven't seen yet, the new ones, should draw your attention. This is the way all the other stackexchange sites work.

When I'm on this site I find myself returning to questions I've already answered and missing questions I haven't seen yet because the visual cues are counter-intuitive.

A simple fix is to swap the a versus a:visited colors in the stylesheet.

EDIT
For other people having the same problem, you can create a user-stylesheet (the plugin stylish can make this easy for Firefox/Chrome). I put the following into mine, and everything looks cleaner:

a { color: #004377; }
a:visited { color: #8C9DA9; }
  • hmmm - on my screens, the lighter, unvisited ones stand out so it works well for me. I'm pretty certain if it doesn't work for you there is a workaround someone wrote for chrome and firefox (with greasemonkey) to change it to whatever you like – Rory Alsop Jan 27 '12 at 18:42
  • I came here to post this - it looks like the links I've clicked are unread and the links I haven't are read. If I come here for a quick browse I'll often click on the few 'read that look unread', think 'i read these already' and close my window – Andy Smith Apr 23 '12 at 9:13
  • I hadn't noticed this until you pointed it out (you git!) but now that you have, I realise that my eyes have indeed been drawn to items I've already seen, rather than new ones. – Polynomial Oct 4 '12 at 12:16
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I think the problem is more a question of contrast. Personally, I have no problem concentrating on the "grayed out" parts, as long as the visited and unvisited links differ enough; it does not matter much (for me ! This is a perception thing, hence depends quite a lot on who does the perceiving) whether the visited links use the lighter or the darker colour. However, I tend to find the two colours too close to each other.

It is even a problem with my 23" LCD. Like all LCD panels, its contrast depends on the angle of vision, and since this panel is rather big and close to my eyes, the pixel on the top of the screen and those on the bottom are seen by the operator (me) from quite distinct angles, to the point that a visited link on the top and an unvisited link on the bottom will appear to me with the same apparent tint.

I currently handled the issue by adding an extra LCD display, an older 17" LCD which happens to be much less affected; I do my Web browsing on that display. Still, I think that this highlights the fact that the two colours are a bit too similar to each other.

  • Personally I find that it's not about colour difference - my eyes distinguish between the visited and unvisited links just fine - it is simply that I assume the lighter colour to be visited. So, for me, just swapping the colours would solve this issue. I find this on my home monitor, laptop monitor and work monitor all the same. (edit: but as you say this is a fairly subjective issue) – Andy Smith Oct 4 '12 at 13:53

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