Color Blindness and TWing

Subject: Color Blindness and TWing
From: "David Loveless" <daveloveless -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 12 Apr 2006 13:04:02 -0600

Okay, so this might be more of a Friday kind of issue, but it is one I
deal with daily.

As a color blind person, I am highly aware of my color selections in
my documentation and UI designs. However, I notice that many non-color
blind people are sometimes completely unaware of the issues we face.
For example, at one job I wrote user documentation for a training
program for almost six months before one of my coworkers pointed out
that incorrect answers in our training software were marked with a red
X. Really? I had no idea. Still don't, really. For all I know, my
coworker made that up. Even sadder is that our audience was primarily
males (upwards of 90%). Since color blindness affects roughly 12% of
all males, I can't even begin to dream how many members of our
audience went through an entire training program without ever knowing
which answers they missed. Fortunately, I was able to influence a
color and design change for the next version of the software.

So, my questions are these:

1. How aware are you of color blindness?

2. How much do you understand about color blindness (causes,
misconceptions, results)?

3. How much of an affect and what affects do you believe color
blindness has on your audience.

4. What steps do you take to limit the problems caused by color blindness?

5. (This one is just for my own kicks and giggles) Are you or a
technical communicator you know color blind?

Thanks all,


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