Dan Hinmon, MCSMN Director

Posts: 2878
Joined: Apr 13, 2011

Designing For (and With) Color Blindness

Posted by @DanHinmon, Dec 16, 2015

This article continues the discussion we’ve been having in the community about accessibility: https://socialmedia.mayoclinic.org/discussion/we-goofed-and-weve-finally-fixed-it/

Here’s what the author writes: “We often forget about the one in ten people that are colorblind. Too many times have I downloaded an app or game only to realize that using it was a huge pain. I’m often unable to distinguish one object from another or determine how something is labeled.

“If 1 out of every 10 users finds your app to be difficult or even impossible to use, your ratings and reviews will drop drastically. So, how do we test for this? How do we fix any issues? And how can we prevent issues from popping up to begin with?”

My “aha” moment from the article is Google maps. What’s yours?


Thanks for posting this, Dan! I wish more people would take colorblindness seriously as a disability, even though it seems on the surface to be innocuous. Hope I don’t die in an auto accident bc I failed to see a red light or stop sign.. and take someone else with me!

I hadn’t thought of the danger of stop lights. Why other challenges does color blindness cause for you?


I hadn’t thought of the danger of stop lights. Why other challenges does color blindness cause for you?

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Educational challenges to name a major one. From Kindergarten on through PhD, and then as a faculty at a med school, COLOR -CODING, most often red and green (our very worst colors) are routinely used for instructional purposes (ALL types of instruction). For example, if somebody gives a Powerpoint lecture where colors are used, I’m usually left in the dust and must go back and review later to retrieve the bottom lines.

I like this example you tweeted, @westr. This is changing the way I look at design. Thanks!

Liked by Bob West

I presume there’s a number (letter?) embedded in there somewhere..

It’s a bunch of green dots with a red dots forming the number 29.

You just informed me of something I’ve been totally aware of all this time- that the color of the dots themselves is actually knowable. They don’t appear colorless to me, I just have know idea what they are. Brown? Green? Orange? Which is which?

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