Reading on eInk and Backlit LED – The Influence of Positive and Negative Contrast on Eye Movements

  • Yves Etienne Bochud
  • Marc Garbely
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 7946)


This preliminary study aims at identifying possible differences in eye movements while reading either dark text on light background or light text on dark background on-screen. To this end, eye movements during reading with two different screen technologies which are dominant in the domain of mobile e-reading devices (i.e. eInk and backlit LED), have been examined for both negative and positive contrast. Results show that for reading on electronic displays, direction of contrast (negative/positive) has no significant influence on central eye movements involved in reading. Therefore, both positive and negative contrasts can be recommended when presenting text to users on-screen and provide good readability. This goes for either eInk or LED screens, however, a tendency for longer fixations was observed when reading with negative contrast on the LED screen. This may be due to the higher contrast on the LED screen, compared to the lower contrast of the eInk screen.


readability legibility contrast polarity effect LED eInk 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yves Etienne Bochud
    • 1
  • Marc Garbely
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute for Research in Open, Distance- and eLearningSwiss Distance University of Applied SciencesBrigSwitzerland

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