Journal / Reducing Lightbox Indifference

Having read the post Been lightboxed lately? at SvN, I couldn’t help feel that they were right, and that made me feel a little ashamed. When I started using Lightbox on my new portfolio site, it wasn’t being used by everyone and their mother on websites and blogs. But it wasn’t exactly unheard of either, and a little foresight would have told me that the effect would be very mainstream very soon. Reading that post made me realise that not only is the effect overused, but it isn’t actually a great effect in the first place. Lately I had been checking out some things on the Apple website, and had been impressed with their use of a similar effect for certain information and video, but in a much more elegant implementation. So I have modified the Lightbox CSS file slightly on my site, to make the effect much less of a slap in the face, and give it more context. It resembles Apple’s effort a little, but is much simpler. All I have done is remove the partially transparent black background that overlays your page. I feel that it really improves the display of larger images on the site. I would love to hear some feedback on this.

Want to remove the background on your Lightbox installation? Simply edit lightbox.css, and remove the line background-color: #000; (or change the hex colour to something else, if that’s your bag).

One response so far

  1. Peter

    11th Oct, 2007 at 12:47 am

    Hey –
    this commenting may get to be a regular thing!
    lightboxing may be ubiquitous, but i do think that it has its uses.
    the way it isolates the enlarged image from the background clutter of the page really helps to concentrate on the image being presented – especially, in my opinion, on sites like yours, where you’re offering fairly detailed screenshots of websites. if the image deserves looking at, then it deserves being offered up in such a way that the viewer isn’t distracted by the cut-in-half line of text peeking out from the layer below!

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