Last week the internet went crazy for a picture of a dress. Viewers of this image couldn’t seem to agree what colour this dress was – and not just a mild disagreement either.
This image split the world in two. Those that saw a blue & black dress and those that saw a white & gold one (we even discussed its impact last week). It was mostly completely polarising (a minority of people did claim to see it differently upon multiple viewings) – people were passionate about the colours they saw and couldn’t entertain the idea that others saw it differently.
I’m sure there’s some deep and meaningful philosophical discussions to be had about human perception, but in the realm of user interface and accessibility it does highlight the issue of simple colour perception. Whatever is at play here, whether it be biological differences or technical inconsistencies, it’s clear that designers have to consider that not everyone will perceive the colours on the page in the same way, and that you need to do as much as you can to limit the impact of this to offer a truly inclusive experience for your users.
As we know we can’t guarantee that every user will perceive a design in the same way we have to fall back to some fundamental design principles, particularly when it comes to on-screen text – we have to ensure contrast. The simplest way to test and achieve this is to strip out all the colour from a page and see if it’s still readable, but there are several tools for automatically checking contrast levels between the foreground text colour and background colour on any given web page, for example, Accesscolor.
Tools for checking designs for colour specific accessibility are also available. For example, Sim Daltonism is a Mac app that emulates how various types of colour-blindness effect colour perception.
If you’re at all concerned about the accessibility of your site why not get in contact.
- Digital Marketing.