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Color as Contrast

October 24, 2012

http://www.alistapart.com/articles/contrast-is-king/

While reading articles about web accessibility I came across this article about contrast. I found the idea of creating a website entirely in greyscale before giving it color very interesting.  The article has several applications that can help a designer create website that are visually accessible to everyone. The article mentions Color Scheme Designer, which I know has already been discussed here, and shows how different visual impairments can affect the schemes that you pick. Another useful tool is Check My Colors. This site will check how well your website does in terms of visual clarity. I have not tried it yet, I am not ready for all the fail notices that I am sure will occur. One thing that really stood out to me was the reiteration that link states need to change more than just color, something that I have been guilty of this semester. By changing the site to greyscale the color only link changes become almost useless. Thinking in terms of contrast and not just color really has made me see the process of design in a different light.

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. October 24, 2012 10:00 pm

    Have you tried Contrast Analyzer?
    (http://www.paciellogroup.com/resources/contrast-analyser.html)
    The software is free to download, and it is entirely based on W3C’s usability and accessibility guideline.
    jo-sep

    • October 25, 2012 8:45 pm

      I have not tried that yet, I will have to check it out. I think that colors can really make or break a website.

  2. dawnrocha99 permalink
    October 25, 2012 6:01 pm

    I have always said things and people look better in black and white but I always thought it was my photography background but now I have validation. Very interesting article and something I know I will be referencing as we develop our final project for class. Thanks for the information.

    • October 25, 2012 8:48 pm

      I could not imagine trying to make a website in greyscale, I love color too much, that would be the first grade teacher in me! I do however see the benefit of such an exercise.

  3. October 26, 2012 11:19 am

    I have always designed web related content and how I used colors on how it looked to me and my eyes. Only recently have I started taking other things into account such as color blindness or just flat out visually impaired individuals. One of the important factors I think moving forward with after this class is how to design graphically pleasing web pages in the near future. How I will use the colors is one of the first steps.

    Thanks.

  4. October 26, 2012 12:40 pm

    I, too, am guilty of designing only for my own preferences (which generally gravitate towards simple and understated) and have always had a main color that I then revolve the others around. In hindsight, the grayscale idea and application would help to figure out just how many colors you real need and how they compliment, instead of beginning with the wrong types of colors (primary vs. pastel) and whatnot.

    Deanna Thompson

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