According to statistics, approximately 1 in 12 men and around 1 in 200 women are affected by colour blindness. Across the UK, this means 4.5% of the entire population are affected in some capacity so for every 100 visitors that potentially land on your website, up to 8 of those visitors will experience your website in a different way than you anticipated! As a Knutsford web design agency, who strive to deliver the best website user experience possible, we simply cannot ignore these figures so inside our blog, our web design Knutsford team will pinpoint 3 easy ways you can improve your website for colour blind users.
Ok, so what exactly is colour blindness in web design?
The biggest misconception about colour blindness is assuming visitors will see in black and white, this is known as Monochromacy and is in fact a very rare colour-blind condition. The two most common types of colour blindness are known as deuteranopia and protanopia – both of which are sex-linked are are more common in men than women. Both Deuteranopia and Protanopia are types of colour vision deficiency where the green photoreceptors are absent where sufferers will mix up all colours which have red or green as part of the whole colour.
How our Knutsford Web Design Agency can improve your website for colourblind users
Avoid colour specific call to action instructions
Regardless of trying to get users to subscribe to a newsletter, sell products, or provide informative information, every website has a purpose and a call to action so it’s critical you communicate these intentions as clear as possible.
If you want visitors to fill out a contact form for a free quote or to sign up to subscribe to your newsletter, avoid colour specific instructions if a field within your contact form hasn’t been filled correctly instead of it just highlighting any errors in red. Look to use colours, symbols and text to communicate your call to action message everywhere!
I’m sure over time you would have seen countless websites where hyperlinks were blue and underlined? Well that seems to be a trend of the past as most web design agencies in Knutsford will tell you that websites today often apply a hoverstate over hyperlinks which means they only change colour or underline when a user hovers over the words. This approach is very redundant if the person can’t see the change of colour in the first place so always look to keep hyperlinks permanently underlined.
Text Overlaid onto Background Images
Where appropriate, adding text to background images used to showcase examples of your products and services is a great way to cater to everybody. Alternatively, you can apply a solid colour or a drop shadow to quietly add text to images without drawing the visitor away from what the image displays but you may need to speak to your local Knutsford web agency to implement these kinds of graphics.
I would also highly advise implementing meta tags to images where accessible. If you are unsure on what a meta tag is, it’s basically a word or short description that explains what the image is and is displayed when visually impaired users may turn off images in their browser settings, or you may experience internet issues where the image may struggle to load, by adding the text, nothing is lost.
For those of you who have an e-commerce website who sell products such as clothing in a variety of different colours, do you filter products by colour swatches or by clearly instructing the colour with text?
Both of these approaches have their pro’s and con’s… It’s important to remember that not all people who have a colour vision deficiency can’t see any colour at all so this by having just colour swatches as options, this can slow down the process of choosing a colour. On the other hand, displaying colour names on hover is an option bit this will not work on a touchscreen device where hovering isn’t possible. As a web agency in Knutsford, our professional advice would be to apply both colour swatches and text so visitors can get information as quickly and as smoothly as possible.
How to test if you are colour blind?
You would be amazed to know people can go years without knowing they have any type of colour blindness, especially if the effects can go largely unnoticed until you either take a test or somebody else points them out.
Here is just an example on how you can test to see if you are affected by colour blindness… You can find free tests online but results may vary depending on lighting conditions or the device display settings. If you would like a diagnoses on the colours and design of your website, contact your local web agency in Knutsford.