As part of the goals for the current rewritings and refactorings of Polly, I'm trying to neglect accessibility a little less than I did until now. Because GTK offers great a11y support by default, this basically means taking some extra care when I edit widgets on my own instead of relying on the theme. One such care involves playing well with high-contrast themes.
Instead of a one-size-fits-all design, that would inevitably lead to some lowest common denominator aesthetic choices, the next versions of Polly will allow a --contrast command-line parameter that causes some subtle changes in the interface.
One of those changes involves the color of the error bar. In normal mode, it simply has our good old universal error color, red.
In contrast mode, the red is replaced by a color taken directly from the theme, ensuring readability while still drawing attention. Below you can see what how contrast mode looks when using the HighContrast and HighContrastInverse themes.
The other change I have implemented involves a new feature: I am going to introduce optional background color coding for unread items and mentions.
In contrast mode, where the choices of color are much more limited, I offer an alternative: marking unread items with bold and marking mentions with italic. This wasn't a very hard choice, since bold is a very common way of showing unread items in mail clients.
So when contrast mode is enabled, this is how the preferences window looks like.
What do you think? I'm not an accessibility expert, so I would love some feedback.