The new top bar layout is fine, but the black color is very visually jarring/intrusive. Is using a lighter color an available option?

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    userscript it... – Bart Dec 4 '13 at 22:19
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    That could be the answer to all [top-bar] questions. – user102937 Dec 4 '13 at 22:20
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    It was tempting @TheGrinch. – Bart Dec 4 '13 at 22:20
  • I have a userscript under development that's intended to make these userscripts easier. – michaelb958--GoFundMonica Dec 4 '13 at 22:21
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    A metascript?... – user102937 Dec 4 '13 at 22:21
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    I agree with the lightening the color of the top bar... even something like #404040 would be great... the black is way too intrusive. – Arian Faurtosh Dec 4 '13 at 22:22
  • @TheGrinch It's a userscript that supports userscript plugins. (Gee, can I call it a metascript?) – michaelb958--GoFundMonica Dec 4 '13 at 22:23
  • My approach: meta.stackexchange.com/a/210013/184087 – phils Dec 4 '13 at 22:46
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    I've now posted Gallery of custom styles and/or scripts for the top-bar where hopefully other useful approaches will be posted. – phils Dec 4 '13 at 23:32
  • github.com/imom0/so-topbar-light-theme try this for chrome users. – iMom0 Dec 5 '13 at 7:26
  • +1000. User preferences should offer at least some basic color/theme customization. – mpapec Dec 5 '13 at 11:18
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    User preferences are a crutch for bad design. The only excuse for the horrible palette is that it's the only one that "matches" all 106 SE sites. That's a pretty thin excuse - it matches almost all of them equally poorly and makes them all look like they were designed by a chimp. Designers could make a case study of this mess as an example of when you need to reconsider the problem being solved. Bulldozing over a hundred sites, most with very carefully chosen colour schemes, is just a lazy solution. Branding professionals exist. Designers exist. SE needs to start consulting some of them. – J... Dec 5 '13 at 11:53
  • Press down arrow. Voila, top bar out of sight out of mind. – Ben Lee Dec 5 '13 at 20:42
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    Black is the only neutral color matching all sites? Ha! White isn't neutral anymore? And the remaining 254 shades of gray? Follow phils' link to be proven wrong. Several UserStyles available with nice gray tones. Much more eye-friendly. And better fitting to all SE sites I tried. – Izzy Dec 6 '13 at 22:41
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    @CodeBlend It does! Thanks! :-) – JS. Jan 15 '14 at 18:05

It fits well on some sites. On most sites, it's indeed jarring. Beta sites, for example — all light blue/cyan/gray colors except for that black* band.

The color of the top bar should be adjusted for each site, to fit the site's theme.

* Yeah, I know, not black.

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    It's not the color* that I find unappealing, it's the contrast. A dark-anycolor band against a light page is distracting. – JS. Dec 4 '13 at 22:55
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    @JS. Someone understands. I visited SO earlier today, first time with new bar (have been on Meta for a few weeks, so saw the redesign), and I said wow, this is ugly and distracting. – hichris123 Dec 4 '13 at 22:59
  • @JS. Yes, I meant color as in the whole shebang, not just the hue. – Gilles 'SO- stop being evil' Dec 4 '13 at 23:02
  • @hichris123: Yeah, today is the first I've seen it too. Been on Stack Exchange all week. Looking through Meta's posts on the changes, these changes have been rolling out for a while. Guess they just finally trickled into my corner of the Internet. – JS. Dec 4 '13 at 23:05
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    @Gilles: I understand. I just wanted to clarify my position as Bart was teasing me about pink earlier. :-) – JS. Dec 4 '13 at 23:08
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    The blog post says that one of the goals in the new top bar design was to provide a uniform look across all the sites, and that black is really the only option. I wonder if the team would consider at least creating a light color scheme to go with the current dark color scheme, for sites where the light scheme fits better? – David Z Dec 5 '13 at 4:57
  • It's a network feature, so I actually prefer the uniformly "black" thing. – Raphael Jan 8 '14 at 18:47

Make it transparent (suggestion originally from Sci-Fi meta):

Transparent top bar from Sci-Fi

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    While this looks great on sci-fi, and probably other sites with dark backgrounds, it wouldn't work on light-backgrounded sites. The foreground text color would have almost no contrast with the background color. – Ben Lee Dec 5 '13 at 20:45
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    @BenLee We just got a post that it'll use a darker 80% solid instead of my proposed 40% solid, which should work well on both dark and light sites. Not sure if Jin meant just SciFi.SE+Meta or everywhere, though. – Izkata Dec 6 '13 at 0:48

Currently, this is not an available option.

But, as a workaround, userscripting should get you pretty far. Then you can have all the color-goodness you like. And let's be honest here, you really want it to be pink.

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    Hey, I'm secure in my programmer-hood. :-) Pink works so long as it lowers the contrast. <sigh> Guess I'll have to allocate some time to learn userscripting. – JS. Dec 4 '13 at 22:50

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