Colour blindness and design

by | May 22, 2019

Even if you (a designer) are not colour blind, over 8% of your male clients are likely to be, as are the 8% of their male target markets (colour blindness is rarer in females).

It’s important to be as inclusive as you can. Designing your work with no consideration for this substantial group could be a huge mistake.

Firstly, it’s important to understand the different types of colour blindness. Here is an overview of the sorts of colours which colour blind people see.

Every type of colour blindness can cause inconveniences, especially in regards to user experience. Because many colours look similar to one another, it can cause problems when using an interface; text can be unreadable, call to action buttons may not be prominent. 

When designing a brand, product or a user interface, it’s important to consider a colour blind audience to ensure that what you’re designing is 100% accessible – It’s just good design practice. 

Before we explore a few tips on how to create design with a colour-blind audience in mind, how about a quick test?

 

Are you colour blind?

If you see the number 74 in the image above, you’re good to go. However, if you see a 21 or nothing, then you are most likely red-green colour bind. Take a full test here if you’re not convinced.

You’re not colour blind, but you still need to consider a colour-blind audience.

Designing with a colour-blind audience in mind is actually a lot simpler than you think. 

1/ Use high contrast. People who are colour blind can still perceive contrast, saturation and brightness, so use this to your advantage.

2/ Incorporate texture. Especially when designing infographics, texture/patterns can help differentiate between objects.

3/ Never use colour alone to convey a message or indicate an action. Incorporate text and symbols to also get your point across. 

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