Colorblindness and Usability

By Deane Barker on March 10, 2007

Colorblindness & Usability: A Case Study of Microsoft, Amazon & IBM: I didn’t know colorblindness was so prevalent.

I am one of the 10% of the male population who is colorblind. Approximately one million people visit each day. If we assume that half of these visitors are male, then approximately 50,000 will be colorblind. Few of us can afford to frustrate 10 customers, let alone 50,000!

His biggest piece of design advice?

Fortunately the solution is simple and can be summarized in one word, contrast.

You do not need to hire a team of colorblind usability experts (Nuts!). Simply remember that whenever you use a colored background for a page or a graphic, make sure the text message on it has strong contrast to the colored background.



  1. The converse is also true. A friend of mine is color blind. He was building the user interface for some internal application using a screen painter app builder and then doing the business logic.

    He released the first version to the development team and everyone was aghast at how horribly ugly it was. Because of clashing reds and greens. Looked fine to him though.

Comments are closed. If you have something you really want to say, tweet @gadgetopia.