Design patterns and examples for colour blindness

In my experience it can be hard to make people understand that colour blindness can actually cause real problems for real people on the web. Sometimes when I point out that the colour combinations used in a design can make it hard or even impossible for some people to use a website properly, the response I get is “Well it looks fine to me and the other people I have asked, so I don’t think there is a problem.”

Of course there isn’t a problem for you – you aren’t colour blind… (For the record, neither am I.)

The problem is twofold:

  • Explaining and showing examples of the difficulties that people with various colour vision deficiencies can run into
  • Helping designers avoid those problems

One website that attempts to do this is We are Colorblind. On the site you can find design patterns, good and bad examples, quick tips, and links to various tools. I think the examples section is very good since the accompanying text explains why each example is good or bad.

If you think something is missing from the site, go ahead and Suggest a pattern or example.

Posted on October 26, 2009 in Accessibility, Graphic Design

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