New map tiles have lighter backgrounds and decrease contrast in map

I'd like to try to convince you to change some text RGB colors and other user interface elements in the game

One of the biggest complaints about Prime when it was first released was that it looked "washed out" compared to [REDACTED].

Some players have pointed out that this is largely due to low contrast color choices for foreground and background objects.

For example, toast messages appear as dark red text on a black background, which is difficult to read on many devices in full sunlight.

This is a well understood problem in user interface design. In fact, the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), the international community that maintains web standards, publishes the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG, now up to version 2.2) that covers this and related issues.

WCAG 2.2 recommends (Section 1.4.3 Contrast (Minimum)) a minimum contrast ratio of 4.5:1 for regular text. This is easy to determine. For the aforementioned toast messages, I took a screenshot and used ****'s eyedropper tool to get the background color (0x2c3344) and text color (0xe92a58), and plugged those into an online calculator ( to get a contrast ratio of 2.96, which fails WCAG guidelines.

This problem doesn't just affect toast messages. There are many places throughout the app that suffer from poor contrast. The purple text in portal nominations is also low contrast. There are many places where white text is placed over a bright picture, resulting in a low contrast situation.

The solution for many of these is simple: just use a brighter text color, or a darker background, or both. For text over an image, using a bright color with a dark 1 pixel border around the letters will fix the contrast problem.

This problem is also not just limited to text. In a crowded or fielded area, there is insufficient contrast between the blue and the green portals to be able to tell them apart.

This problem has also gotten worse recently. With the recent map tile update, many map tiles now have a lighter background than they used to, resulting in poorer contrast in some areas.

All of these collectively contribute to the feeling that the game is "washed out", and make it difficult to play in full sunlight.

While I don't believe WCAG and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance are legal requirements for games, they are legal requirements for web sites. Making the game compliant will not harm the general player experience, and will improve the experience for impaired people and/or impaired devices.

Remember, we're out here in full sunlight on real devices trying to play these games, not a nice comfy desktop display under ideal lighting conditions.

Is Niantic willing to address this long standing usability issue with Prime?

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