Have You Ever Thought of How Color Blindness Users See Your Design?
3 February 2021
By: Seyha Chan
To understand how to design for color blindness users, it is important for you to initially get some ideas of what color blindness is. Color blindness or color vision deficiency generally happens with people who have an inability to differentiate colors in the way they should be. Moreover, red and green color blindness is the most common form, followed by blue and yellow color blindness. Therefore, to enrich colorblind-friendly visualization for any piece of artwork or graphic design, it is very vital for designers to consider the following tips.
1. Minimize Color Usage in Design
To design in a user-friendly way for color blindness people, you might minimize your color usage in your design and try to avoid the combination of color blindness-related issues such as red and green. Just remember that the few colors you use, the few confusions would be minimized. Moreover, it would be good for your design since it is not only widely accessible for every viewer but also easily memorable for everyone to recognize your design.
2. Use Patterns and Textures to Show Contrast
It is important to different patterns and textures for differentiating the multiple color design. As an example of this, it is probably difficult for color blindness people to interpret graphs and charts. Under this circumstance, you might use the contrasting patterns or add texts on the graphs and charts for them to interpret.
3. Avoid Combining the Color Vision Deficiency Related Color
The smartest approach to avoid a nightmare for color blindness users is to carefully select the color. In general, you are not recommended to use all of these colors together such as green & red, green & brown, blue & purple, green & blue, light green & yellow, blue & grey, and green & grey. These color combinations will cause problematic vision for color blindness users and their eyes would see in other colors, not in the way that it should be.
For instance, using red and green together can be problematic for color blindness people because they would view them as brown. A fun fact of this example, have you questioned why Facebook is fully covered by blue? According to The New Yorker, Zuckerberg is red and green color blind so he can see the color is blue.
4. Check Color Blindness on Photoshop
Fortunately, graphic software like Photoshop created a tool, which allows designers to check how their artwork looks like in the eyes of color blindness people. Technically speaking, you could check the color blindness of your artwork on Photoshop by going to View → Proof Setup → Color Blindness → Protanopia-type/Color Blindness — Deuteranopia-type. Now you can turn it on and off by using ⌘+Y key shortcut on a Mac and Ctrl+Y on a PC.
5. In Conclusion
Basically, graphic design should properly think of creating artworks, which could be widely accessible for every user and the abovementioned tips might not be a one-size-fits-all approach but it can be an alert message for all designers to figure out more strategies to maximize their work perfectly for everyone.