Best Color Combinations for Visually Impaired Web Users

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Best Color Combinations for Visually Impaired Web Users

There are many difficulties that arise from color blindness, especially when it comes to web browsing. Individuals who are unable to decipher different color combinations on their screen can become confused and unable to properly navigate the web if there aren’t accommodating features to distinguish colors. For example:

If a website presents a user with a banner that features a red backdrop and green text, with a prompt that says ‘click here to access your results,’ a colorblind individual may not be able to read it, leaving them unable to proceed properly.

To avoid these types of confusion, it’s important to pay mind to the best color combinations for visually impaired web users. This means understanding which colors are often confused or indistinguishable and avoiding them in design. Some examples of color combinations to avoid include:

  • Red and green (Dichromacy)
  • Dark colors and darker hues (Protanopia)
  • Mid-color tones (Deuteranopes)
  • Light colors and greys (Tritanopes)

There are many browser extensions and plugins that allow you to shift your browser to change the colors to match what a visually impaired individual might see, so take heed of these as you’re designing the color scheme of your website.

When it comes to picking the best color combination for visually impaired web users, it’s important to look beyond just color combinations, but also to texture and other visual cues. For example:

  • Adding texture or patterns to similar colors allows them to stand out.
  • Never using color as a confirmation or rejection for data input.
  • Adding neutral text to distinguish color backdrops and presentations.
  • Use contrasting colors wherever possible to help impaired readers see hues.

The best color combinations for visually impaired web users are those that avoid the various types of color blindness mentioned above, while also incorporating proper hues and textures to help colors better stand out.

Now, in addition to avoiding conflicting colors, encouraging complementary hues and adding pattern and textures, a conscientious web designer can also do a couple more things to make their site wholly accessible for visually impaired users:

  • Add a monochromatic color viewing option to the site.
  • Creating a WCAG text version of the site for accessibility devices.
  • Offering multiple viewing modes for various types of visual impairments.
  • Providing voice cues and accessible speech features.

Depending on the nature and severity of a person’s color blindness, complementing a good color scheme with these accessibility designs is a great way of ensuring visitors to your site are able to visually digest everything you’re presenting. Whether you run an ecommerce site or an informational hub, planning for visual impairments is the quickest way to ensure no one is prohibited from navigating your site with ease.

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