Colour Blindness

I was just reminded by bd4d about the importance of colour blindness checking on your websites. Creating content which is visible to colour blind people seems to come way down on the list of things that need to be made accessible when designing a website - after all, it just isn’t as sexy as getting things to work for all those blind kids, is it? I have a little bit of experience with colourblindness, however, so the subject is somewhat close to my heart. You see, my brother has very severe red-green colour blindness (aparently at the hospital they kept sending for extra doctors because they had never seen it as bad as he has it), and finds that a good deal of websites are hard, or just plain impossible, to use because of poor use of colour.

Even if you’re not colour blind yourself, that’s no reason to not design with colour blind people in mind as one of your potential users. Vischeck is a good tool for checking pages or images against three different types of colour blindness, whilst the Colorblind Web Page Filter does the same job with the addition of several more variables. This extra load of variables result in a much more haphazard user interface, but if you need the extra complexity then it is a good tool to use. As with all tools of this type neither are perfect, but both should point you in the right direction for improving your websites.

comments (2) | write a comment | permalink | 22 July 2005

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Neil Crosby now blogs at The Code Train and also runs, The Ten Word Review and Everything is Rubbish.