Re: Color Blindness and TWing

Subject: Re: Color Blindness and TWing
From: "Katie Kearns" <katie -dot- kearns -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: "David Loveless" <daveloveless -at- gmail -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 13 Apr 2006 12:54:19 -0700

On 4/12/06, David Loveless <daveloveless -at- gmail -dot- com> wrote:
> So, my questions are these:
> 1. How aware are you of color blindness?

My brother is color blind.

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

Well, between him, the biology degree, and accessibility classes, I'd say
I'm pretty much well-informed. ;)

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

Depends? I mean, I remember my brother dressed pretty funny when he was a
teenager. ;) They hang traffic lights horizontally instead of vertically in
Texas, and threw him for a loop for a day or so when he was visiting us

There's definitely a lot of user interfaces that don't take color blindness
into account, and make colors the only way to get some information, like
your example above. (Say, sites that remove underlining for hyperlinks, or
underline other text).

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

Don't make colors the only visual cue. Make sure there's plenty of contrast
between text and it's background. Test web pages (and other interfaces) with
some sort of accessibility tool that lets you view it in simulated
color-blindness mode. If you're describing part of an interface (or piece of
hardware) make sure to use other cues in addition to colors. For example,
don't tell the user to just look for a red, green or blue light.

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

Not that I know of.


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Color Blindness and TWing: From: David Loveless

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