Friday, April 28, 2023

Designing for Colorblindness

Andy Baio:

For some people, colorblindness is a serious liability that closes doors on career dreams. It’s hard to become a pilot, train conductor, or pathologist if you can’t differentiate colors in critical instruments, signals, or tissue samples. For others, it seriously impacts their day-to-day ability to do their jobs, like surveyors spotting flags, doctors looking at skin conditions, or electricians looking for colored wires.

But for me, it’s just a lifelong series of unnecessarily confusing interactions, demonstrating that the world wasn’t designed for people like me.

Jason Snell:

Basically, Tot’s launch screen was utterly baffling to me because I’m (mildly) colorblind and it was asking me to do things based on whether a tiny ring was green or red. I couldn’t see it.

Craig Hockenberry:

The initial releases of Tot didn’t have great accessibility. We knew it needed improving, but experience has shown us the folks who need these features have great ideas and happily share their opinions.


Luckily we have a tool that let me approximate what Jason was seeing. xScope’s vision defect simulator confirmed that Tot’s colored circles had serious issues.

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