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Bart Smastard
14th September 2005, 11:52 AM
As someone who has mild colour-blindness I was pleased to read an article in The Australian IT yesterday that discussed taking colour-blindness into consideration when designing websites.
Australian IT - Building sites for the colour-blind (http://australianit.news.com.au/articles/0,7204,16554227%5E15841%5E%5Enbv%5E,00.html)

As an example. In the following picture, known as an Ishihara Test Plate, I see a faint 3. Where someone with correct colour vision would see an 8 (If you don't see anything but dots then you're more colour-blind than I am).
http://stuweb3.cmp.uea.ac.uk/laj/webapp/img/Ishihara8.gif

I have noticed many sites where the designer has put text in colours that, according to my eyes, clash with the background: red on blue (or vice versa) is the worst, this causes a strobing effect and is impossible to read. Fortunately these are few but there are still many of sites with subtle colour-blind ignorance (AppleTalk is not one of them).

But it's not just computer software and printed material that needs to be considered. I drove my friends 2001 model VW Golf one night and couldn't read the instruments because they were lit with blue-voilet light that completely freaked my eyes out. All I could see was a pulsating ring of blue that was supposed to be the speedo.

If you're a developer, publisher or just interested in colour-blindness check the following links.

Colour-blind (http://www.colour-blind.info/) - mentioned in The Australian IT article. This site has downloads, including a Photoshop plug-in that simulates the various kinds of colour-blindness.

Can colour-blind users see your site (http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/default.asp?url=/library/en-us/dnhess/html/hess10092000.asp) - Microsoft Developers Network

UMIST Colour-blind test (http://www2.umist.ac.uk/optometry/UES/COLOUR0.HTM) - Test yourself for colour-blindness

[EDIT] Fixed up the link at the top of the page

fompsweeva
14th September 2005, 11:58 AM
It's definitely something I've never though about when designing websites, but I stay pretty safe with colours.

Red on blue/blue on red sucks for me, also... but I see the image above as a perfect 8. There are definitely poor colour choices without taking into consideration whether the user is colourblind in the first place, but I can imagine that for colour blind people, some of the harder to read sites can be even more painful to the eye.

Bart Smastard
14th September 2005, 12:47 PM
Most developers are aware of clashing colours (unless they're colour-blind :) )

But sometimes what seems appealing to the designer may not work for the colour-challenged. That's where the tools mentioned in the Colour-blind site could be useful.

symean
14th September 2005, 01:13 PM
Our network admin was color-blind, he couldn't tell the difference between red and green at all. This was a HUGE set back to his profession because when it came to making CAT 5 cables which have all the tiny coloured and striped wires, or looking at many network boxes in our comms cabinet with flashing red-and-green lights, he had to ask someone else which was which.

All he saw at traffic lights was a greyish light at either the top, middle or bottom; no red, amber or green...

Georgina EG
14th September 2005, 01:23 PM
Interesting, directly in front I can only just see a 3 (though I thought I could see 23), but standing up and looking down giving the screen a different light, I can see 8.

I tried the UMIST test but didn't do too well, but then my expectations were not very high. Last week Disko asked me to click a certain of the 3 coloured buttons at the top left, and I had no idea which one he meant. From the left, are they red, yellow and green? To me they look very much the same.

It got me into a spot of bother when taking my eye test for a driving licence in Melbourne in 1973.
Up came a colour which I said was blue, and I was immediately failed. They said it was green.
However, I took it up with them, and when a police sergeant came to my flat to take me for a test, I asked him the colour of my car. He said it was blue when in fact it was turquoise which is a green/blue, exactly what the test light looked like to me. I wasn't asked about the road rules, it turned out to be a test solely to see if I could recognise the traffic lights, which of course I could even beyond the ones immediately in front. The sergeant was disgruntled enough to tell me that he had been instructed by his senior officer to pass me.

foovo
14th September 2005, 01:29 PM
The Shuffle has the worst combo of red-green-amber point source LED indicator lamps - totally unusable for the 4% of blokes affected by Red-Green deficiency.

Apparently Steve Jobs is partly deaf and so this is the reason that the non European pods are way louder than previous mp3 players on the market (now we all can be deaf).

He's obviously not colour blind though.

Bart Smastard
14th September 2005, 01:36 PM
Originally posted by Georgina EG@Sep 14 2005, 01:23 PM
Interesting, directly in front I can only just see a 3 (though I thought I could see 23), but standing up and looking down giving the screen a different light, I can see 8.

I tried the UMIST test but didn't do too well, but then my expectations were not very high. Last week Disko asked me to click a certain of the 3 coloured buttons at the top left, and I had no idea which one he meant. From the left, are they red, yellow and green? To me they look very much the same.

It got me into a spot of bother when taking my eye test for a driving licence in Melbourne in 1973.
Up came a colour which I said was blue, and I was immediately failed. They said it was green.
However, I took it up with them, and when a police sergeant came to my flat to take me for a test, I asked him the colour of my car. He said it was blue when in fact it was turquoise which is a green/blue, exactly what the test light looked like to me. I wasn't asked about the road rules, it turned out to be a test solely to see if I could recognise the traffic lights, which of course I could even beyond the ones immediately in front. The sergeant was disgruntled enough to tell me that he had been instructed by his senior officer to pass me.
I know I'm making a huge assumption here Georgina EG, but I'm guessing by your name that you are female and therefore have only a very small chance of being colour-blind.

Only about 0.4% women experience hereditary colour vision problems (10% for men). Although, it is possible to have a disease of the eye that can cause colour-blindness but you would have had this at least 22 years ago (1973) and would probably be aware of it. So consider yourself a little more unique than you already are.

Incidentally, I tried looking at the test plate looking down the screen and from the sides but still see a faint 3.

morpheme2004
14th September 2005, 02:41 PM
I'm colour blind! (I see a 3, if anything). Makes for great dinner party conversations :)

Steve

Bart Smastard
14th September 2005, 02:53 PM
Originally posted by morpheme2004@Sep 14 2005, 02:41 PM
I'm colour blind! (I see a 3, if anything). Makes for great dinner party conversations :)

Steve
Sure does. My family and friends find it most amusing when I say something is blue and it's actually purple :blink:

gaehl
14th September 2005, 03:16 PM
Gah you color blind people think that you have it fun :P, try being partly color blind Red/Green Blue/Purple and then have no sense of smell! What interesting about the fact that I have no sense of smell is that me sense of taste is quite happily normal (these senses are normally linked if you can't smell you cant taste). The Ear, Nose and Throat Specialist found it fascinating.

Oh and my biggest grip in interface design dual color red green LEDs to indicate the state of something like the iBook power adaptor that is one color while charging and another when charged, it looks the SAME to me and I would bet to a lot of other colorblind people as red/green color blindness is the most common. But everything seems to choose this color combo.

Make them dual red blue or something! :thumbup:

purana
14th September 2005, 03:35 PM
I see a 8. Then again I knew i wasn't colour blind :P

Phillip
14th September 2005, 03:47 PM
Great to here people care to cater those in minority groups - not just the masses. It's really positive and something I certainly have never thought about.

Paxton
14th September 2005, 04:07 PM
Originally posted by foovo@Sep 14 2005, 01:29 PM
Apparently Steve Jobs is partly deaf and so this is the reason that the non European pods are way louder than previous mp3 players on the market (now we all can be deaf).
If you are going by the line in iCon: Steve Jobs, it has been denied by sources close to Steve, and even Steve himself that he is NOT deaf. It is ONE of many excuses that people are using to come to terms with the fact that the European iPods are louder than the Australian ones.


-Andrew

Bart Smastard
14th September 2005, 04:16 PM
Originally posted by Phillip@Sep 14 2005, 03:47 PM
Great to here people care to cater those in minority groups - not just the masses. It's really positive and something I certainly have never thought about.
I would say colour-blindness is more like being left-handed. Obviously I would not expect privileges over true vision impaired people or others with a more severe physical impairment.

But it is nice to see that these little things are taken into consideration.

morpheme2004
14th September 2005, 05:05 PM
Originally posted by gaehl@Sep 14 2005, 03:16 PM
Oh and my biggest grip in interface design dual color red green LEDs to indicate the state of something like the iBook power adaptor that is one color while charging and another when charged, it looks the SAME to me and I would bet to a lot of other colorblind people as red/green color blindness is the most common. But everything seems to choose this color combo.

Make them dual red blue or something! :thumbup:
Mate, I feel your pain.. :)

Exocet
14th September 2005, 05:08 PM
Sup, 3-seeing buddies? I've got the same colour blindness as my grandfather - we both screw up the same colours :) I haven't run into many problems yet by people will sometimes ask me why I'm wearing a green shirt...HELL NO, IT'S BROWN :cry:

I've got one shirt which changes colour depending on what light I'm in, and nobody will tell me what colour it really is, those bastards.

the_OM
14th September 2005, 06:53 PM
I'm colour blind too (yay!). I have a colour perception of 3 for anyone's who interested. My friends too find it amusing when I mix up colours specifically some shades of purple and pink as well as some greens and blues.
The worst for me has always been green on red background or vice-versa.

At least if there's ever another major war and Australia has to conscript citizens, us colour-blind brethren won't be danger fighting on the front lines as people with colour blindness are fairly restricted on what they can do in the military. Yay for us!

glenmorrow
14th September 2005, 07:24 PM
Hmmm, and to think I'm legally blind and have 5% sight, though not colour blind, well, maybe a bit, but I could see a 3, but nothing else on that picture. I use colour filtering on my mac but turned it off to look at the picture.

We have lots of docs at work on web accessibility, contrasting colours and web browser configurations to get around poor web design.

I use Zoom to magnify as well (just in case anyone was interested.)

Glen

Georgina EG
14th September 2005, 07:55 PM
A former electrician of ours told me that an electrician mate in England was totally colour blind and had to keep asking what colour the wires were! Imagine that for a job.

But not all shades of colours can cause problems, some are more recognisable than others, even green, brown and red. Try going into a dress shop where the lighting can be suspect, and work out the difference between navy-blue and black, many women can be confused, not simply a tiny proportion.

However colour blindness isn't necessarily at fault when colours aren't properly recognised, it can be a degenerative problem. Also our eyesight isn't consistent, it varies throughout the day and when we're tired or stressed.

Many years ago the yellow table tennis ball was introduced because it is easier to see (which is why cyclists should wear that colour preferably with reflector strips), but I must admit that the old white ball never caused me a problem even though I was an attacking player and moved very fast.

glenmorrow
14th September 2005, 08:02 PM
There's actually a hand held scanner you can buy that will tell you the colours of things, and it's quite accurate. It's expensive though, like around $200 from memory. People who are colour/totally blind can use them to work out which pants go with which top, etc, etc.

neilrobinson
14th September 2005, 08:23 PM
i like this thread... something i generally dont think about.

A printing friend in Sydney is colourblind, makes for some interesting prints and stories when he was originally a one-man business. :)

neil

Danamania
14th September 2005, 09:52 PM
I see pretty clearly a yellow/brown 8 with a purplish 3 overlaid on top of the green background.

whaaa.

dana

Bart Smastard
15th September 2005, 09:32 AM
Originally posted by danamania@Sep 14 2005, 09:52 PM
I see pretty clearly a yellow/brown 8 with a purplish 3 overlaid on top of the green background.

whaaa.

dana
I've stared at that damn picture for 10 minutes and could not make out anything that closely ressembled an 8.

sdien
15th September 2005, 12:12 PM
i am 100% sure that it shows 3 there! ;)

here's one software on daltonism, just in case nobody mentioned it here before..
sim daltonism (http://www.michelf.com/projects/sim-daltonism/)

morpheme2004
15th September 2005, 01:27 PM
Originally posted by sdien@Sep 15 2005, 12:12 PM
here's one software on daltonism, just in case nobody mentioned it here before..
sim daltonism (http://www.michelf.com/projects/sim-daltonism/)
Way cool...

I was going to try it out, but then I thought "hang on, to me it will look the same" and then lost interest B)