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HP Forum Archive 21

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Colour scheme?
Message #1 Posted by Geoff Quickfall on 27 Sept 2013, 1:14 p.m.

Okay

I have been told that the HP Prime colours were discussed at length. I have even seen one of the prototypes with much higher contrast on the keys for the orange and blue.

Last night working with it and with my aging eyes I can say that the production version colours have no contrast in low light conditions.

Now we all see colours differently, some need high contrast to perceive what others see. And that with similar lighting conditions, visual acuity and excetera. Just ask an interior decorator.

My eyes are checked for colour blindness every six months and are stable in that regard.

The upshot is, as usual, a marketing manager has decided on the colours with no thought given to readability or usability in low light conditions.

So who do we send our colour change request to, in a polite manner. The CEO perhaps :-).

Other then the colour scheme I find the keyboard clicks and overall design to be excellent as well as the capabilities and display.

Geoff

      
Re: Colour scheme?
Message #2 Posted by Brian Walsh on 27 Sept 2013, 8:25 p.m.,
in response to message #1 by Geoff Quickfall

Geoff, I agree. As a group I think we beat this to death in discussions with HP. Hopefully the higher-up who made the decision has received our message loud and clear and has pledged to do better.

It's funny that they said on a couple of occasions that the standard HP color scheme is orange and blue. Not so. It's goldenrod, not orange, and the blue on my HP-25 is an entirely different blue than that used on the Prime, which is almost green. I fell in love with the true classic goldenrod and blue HP calculator colors long ago, introduced on the 35A and 45A and carried over on the 41 series and even on the 35S. That's not to say other colors can't be acceptable, but (pun intended) contrast is key.

            
Re: Colour scheme?
Message #3 Posted by Geoff Quickfall on 27 Sept 2013, 9:22 p.m.,
in response to message #2 by Brian Walsh

There must be a way, without stepping on anyone's toes to address the colour scheme. It makes no sense to have such low contrasting colours; even if it is not a return to the traditional golden rod and blue (my favorites of course). It is obvious the team, including the HP managers we had the pleasure of meeting were unable to persuade the higher ups.

Having spent many days in Hong Kong, Shanghai and Beijing I have observed that their ipad/iPhone/other brand accessories involve a lot of light orange, white and teal, much like the keyboard of the prime. It would seem, anecdotally that the engineering aspect of the Prime has given way to a near sighted marketing ploy.

As I said, this is a wonderful machine, for me a simple change in colour contrast would make it a superb machine.

Maybe an online petition, it worked with the 15LE!!!

:-)

                  
Re: Colour scheme?
Message #4 Posted by Eddie W. Shore on 27 Sept 2013, 9:55 p.m.,
in response to message #3 by Geoff Quickfall

I myself wouldn't mind the colour scheme of the next calculator be close to the HP 48S series: blue and orange on dark brown for shift functions.

                  
Re: Colour scheme?
Message #5 Posted by Bill (Smithville, NJ) on 27 Sept 2013, 10:16 p.m.,
in response to message #3 by Geoff Quickfall

Hi Geoff,

Quote:
It makes no sense to have such low contrasting colours

Low contrast seams to have become a standard for many years in consumer devices. I have many devices at home that are gray on black background. They are impossible to read even when shining a flashlight on them. I even have devices that have raised white letters on white plastic - you should try to read them!

I've come to the conclusion that the artistic product designers are NOT actual users of the products. Therefore, they don't care if the product is functional or not, just as long as it is pretty!

Having become a fanatic fan of using the touch screen phone/tablets for my calculations (FREE42, GO17BII, DROID48, etc), I have foregone the requirement for having actual hard keys. I would love to see a Prime, or similar calculator, that ran on the phone/tablet. That way the keyboard could be skinable in various color schemes, the keyboard could appear when required, the screen could be a lot larger (when the keyboard disappears), almost no memory constraints, and the software be instantly updatable.

Bill

                        
Re: Colour scheme?
Message #6 Posted by Geoff Quickfall on 27 Sept 2013, 10:52 p.m.,
in response to message #5 by Bill (Smithville, NJ)

Yes, similar to the arm rest in your car about 5 inches to low because it looks good there.

Call me a pseudo Luddite though, I still need to hold a discrete unit in my hand.

Eddie, the 48S series had a great colour scheme, then came the 48G!

Geoff

      
Re: Colour scheme?
Message #7 Posted by Jim Johnson on 28 Sept 2013, 6:47 a.m.,
in response to message #1 by Geoff Quickfall

I absolutely couldn't agree more. I was using my HP Prime at a customer location, who had a conference room with low lighting and a row of tinted windows streaming in outside light and I still had difficulty reading the slanted blue and orange key characters, with glasses. Contrast is definitely an issue. If the colors had been darkened just a bit, there would be no problem reading the characters. Now I'll just have to memorize where each of the functions are on the key matrix.

            
Re: Colour scheme?
Message #8 Posted by Geoff Quickfall on 28 Sept 2013, 2:02 p.m.,
in response to message #7 by Jim Johnson

Yep, you nailed it Jim, time to memorize the alpha keyboard. Fortunately on the flight deck I carry a flash light so I don't look too weird firing it up and reading the keyboard.

0 STO C

                  
Re: Colour scheme?
Message #9 Posted by Jean-Michel on 28 Sept 2013, 4:34 p.m.,
in response to message #8 by Geoff Quickfall

Hello

I have no Prime so far (not yet available in France), but, as far as I look at the pictures, the color scheme of the Prime does not seem to me that much different from the one of, let's say, a 33C (I have one that I find very easy to read).
If you except the color of the bezel, black on the 33C and brushed metal on the Prime, other things seems very similar.
We have blue and orange (or close to it) lettering on both, as well as white and black keys.
Is it me, or are the pictures of the Prime not really representative of the actual product, in real light?
That said, I second your opinion on the 48SX color scheme, (I also have one): close to perfect, if not really...

Kind regards.

                        
Re: Colour scheme?
Message #10 Posted by Geoff Quickfall on 28 Sept 2013, 5:10 p.m.,
in response to message #9 by Jean-Michel

Quote:
Is it me, or are the pictures of the Prime not really representative of the actual product, in real light?

BINGO!

                              
Re: Colour scheme?
Message #11 Posted by John Ioannidis on 28 Sept 2013, 8:32 p.m.,
in response to message #10 by Geoff Quickfall

I saw a Prime in broad daylight. The contrast is low indeed.

Recall, however, that the primary market for these things are students, not aging professionals. I can't tell whether said students like the color scheme, but they probably don't know any better.

                                    
Re: Colour scheme?
Message #12 Posted by Geoff Quickfall on 28 Sept 2013, 8:52 p.m.,
in response to message #11 by John Ioannidis

The personal response to colour is extremely varied. Whether sharp eyes or corrected sight, the contrast is still too low, and much lower then one of the prototypes.

The prototype reflects the manual cover and was voted on overwhelmingly last year at HHC2012.

If a higher contrast version does come out I will be first in line.

Geoff

                                          
Re: Colour scheme?
Message #13 Posted by Brian Walsh on 29 Sept 2013, 7:16 a.m.,
in response to message #12 by Geoff Quickfall

Quote:
If a higher contrast version does come out I will be first in line.

I won't be. I expect HP to get it right the first time. For many years this wasn't a problem, but then someone decided to rock the boat. Heck, even the orange HP-70 was OK.

                                    
Re: Colour scheme?
Message #14 Posted by BD on 29 Sept 2013, 12:32 a.m.,
in response to message #11 by John Ioannidis

Quote:
the primary market for these things are students, not aging professionals.

I remember having to take an exam in the dim balcony of a concert hall.

                                          
Re: Colour scheme?
Message #15 Posted by Geoff Quickfall on 29 Sept 2013, 1:05 a.m.,
in response to message #14 by BD

Neat place for an exam!

                                          
Re: Colour scheme?
Message #16 Posted by Bill (Smithville, NJ) on 29 Sept 2013, 8:38 a.m.,
in response to message #14 by BD

Quote:
exam in the dim balcony of a concert hall

Sounds familiar. At Purdue University in the late 60's, we would take our midterms and final exams in the Elliott Hall of Music. We would sit in these concert seats balancing a "lap board" on our lap, with our slide rules, amd take the exam. I'm not sure if they put students in the balcony or not. I was always seated on the main floor. But I do remember trying to balance everything on my lap, and hoping that nothing fell to the floor. Not a great way to take an exam.

Bill

                                                
Re: Colour scheme?
Message #17 Posted by BD on 29 Sept 2013, 11:57 p.m.,
in response to message #16 by Bill (Smithville, NJ)

Quote:
Elliott Hall of Music. We would sit in these concert seats balancing a "lap board" on our lap, with our slide rules, amd take the exam.

Exactly! Same place, 20 years later, HP15C instead of slide rule.

                                                      
Re: Colour scheme?
Message #18 Posted by JimP on 30 Sept 2013, 4:47 a.m.,
in response to message #17 by BD

Looks like there are a few of us ex-Boilers here! (Early 80's graduate school).

                                                      
Re: Colour scheme?
Message #19 Posted by Bill (Smithville, NJ) on 30 Sept 2013, 6:12 p.m.,
in response to message #17 by BD

Quote:
Exactly! Same place, 20 years later

Wow! I would have thought they would have abandoned having tests at the Hall of Music.

I only remember one good experience - after a final math test, it had come a gigantic snow storm during the test. We were so relieved that the test and class was over, we had an all-night snow ball fight on campus. A lot of fun.

Question: When you where there in the 80's did they still require that work be turned in on paper approved for use at Purdue?

When I was there, we had to buy paper from the Book Store that was approved for use at Purdue University. Each type of paper had a Letter which denoted it's use. "A" was lined composition paper, "K" for log-log graph paper, etc. It was just another way for them to get a few extra dollars out of each student. The paper wasn't cheap!

Bill

                                    
Re: Colour scheme?
Message #20 Posted by FORTIN Pascal on 30 Sept 2013, 2:41 p.m.,
in response to message #11 by John Ioannidis

ahah Most of the students do care about the color schemes in a way that they have to be "pretty". There is also the rest of the students who care about the build quality, readability, etc.

I haven't seen any Prime yet and just ordered a 48g. The Prime looks like a monster, at this size, I might as well carry my laptop or a tablet... Also this bright color display must be a battery eating monster.

I would buy a 50g over a Prime just because it is not as flashy.

                                          
Re: Colour scheme?
Message #21 Posted by Clayton Workman on 30 Sept 2013, 8:35 p.m.,
in response to message #20 by FORTIN Pascal

Quote:
ahah Most of the students do care about the color schemes in a way that they have to be "pretty".

I actually wouldn't call the light blue and orange coloring "pretty" at all, but to each his own. I do like the overall look of the calculator, though. Just wish the button text coloring was more readable.

Quote:
The Prime looks like a monster, at this size, I might as well carry my laptop or a tablet...

It's actually not that big. Just holding it up to the 50g shows that it is about the same height and less than 1cm wider than the 50g. It's quite thin, too (thinner than the 50g.) For this comparison, I have the hard case slid on to the back of the prime which adds a bit to its width and height.

Quote:
Also this bright color display must be a battery eating monster.

You'd be surprised. I certainly am. It seems to be VERY battery efficient from what I can tell by my usage so far.

Quote:
I would buy a 50g over a Prime just because it is not as flashy.

I don't necessarily blame you. While I do like the Prime and think it has potential, I don't think it replaces my 50g.

-Clayton

                                                
Re: Colour scheme?
Message #22 Posted by LHH on 2 Oct 2013, 10:35 p.m.,
in response to message #21 by Clayton Workman

I'm really enjoying this new calculator although I've only been using it for fairly simple tasks so far. Overall I find it to be extremely "handsome" but do agree the contrast of sub-functions and alpha characters needs improvement. Maybe all info could be black and the background areas could serve the color-differentiation role (even using the current hues). I do hope this is improved at some point and have wondered if we might be able to purchase a new set of improved keys for retrofitting.

I too have wondered about backlighting (mainly in low-light conditions) but it's almost good enough to use as-is if the contrast was increased. I like the light-colored keys, far better than the dark keys of the Casio fx-CG10 which is essentially useless without sufficient ambient lighting.


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