Information systems for color blind visitors

I must admit that I haven’t thought about what my designs look like to color blind viewers. I assume that the typical web designer and developers don’t consider it, either. I know how frustrating it can be, because my dad is red/green color blind and we had a good time as kids laughing at some of his wardrobe decisions. I also remember helping with electrical projects and being his wire spotter—after all, the difference between the red and green wire is pretty important.

This Webmonkey article talks about the importance of color in information systems and gives some suggestions for designers:

For example, consider Apple’s iPhone availability chart—a simple list with store locations alongside red and green dots to show which stores have iPhones and which don’t. The problem is that if you don’t see color, distinguishing between the red and green dots is very difficult. The solution, however, is very simple and elegant—change the red dots to red squares. The basic design of the site, and the color scheme, is maintained, but the difference in shapes allows color blind users to easily get the same information.

Sometimes the most effective solutions are the most simple.

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