Colourblindness is a relatively common complaint – it affects one in 12 men and one in 200 women. This means site designs, apps and infographics will look different to 3 million in the UK alone. That’s a significant number of people, which is why the design world is starting to think more about accessibility and colour. It is no longer enough to simply rely on your eyes, so a number of tricks can help digital designers to keep their products user-friendly.
Matt Leyland is a Senior Digital Designer on our D&D team who has a quirk: despite working with colour every day, he is colourblind.
Matt recently spoke at our sister agency, Stickyeyes, about his experiences as a colourblind designer and has since shared insights on the Zazzle Media Podcast. Tune in to hear his story:
There are several types of colourblindness – green-type is the most common, while red-type colourblindness is rarer. There are a few other variations that accessible designers should know about, including differences in how people see shades of blue.
Contrast and shape tricks can keep designs readable and exciting; Spotify uses a dot to show colourblind users when shuffle is enabled. But, national ticketing websites, social networks and even Google Analytics have all been criticised for their colour-reliant designs.
Sometimes, welcoming designers with a colour vision deficiency can even improve your designs. Mark Zuckerberg is one of the world’s most famous colourblind people. He reportedly struggles with red-green combinations, which explains why Facebook is blue.
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