November 24, 2005

Dangerous use of colour

Far be it from me to suggest that websites should not be colourful or indeed aesthetically pleasing (or "pretty" if you prefer), but I cannot help but notice the dangers of ignoring colour blindness. Without any wish to continually fault My.WBS, it does bring many design questions to my attention. See the example below:

1. Red on blue is used to show a new message, but to my understanding with such low contrast between the two colours, surely that text may appear near invisible to some users who suffer from colour-blindness?

2. More applicable to users generally, we have brown on brown for previously visited resources. Contrast is low to everyone, making it extremely difficult to read at a distance.

Agreed, colour can be used to help highlight the different types of posting, but it does not need to be the background colour. Options available could simply be a coloured box, or the block to the left (e.g. "13.35 Resources") in the colour.

Again, more things to be wary of in my new portal design!

- 3 comments by 1 or more people Not publicly viewable

  1. In general, My.WBS is the perfect example of how not to design a portal.

    24 Nov 2005, 13:22

  2. I'd agree that the design has many weaknesses, though I think all credit must be given to the My.WBS team for getting the content there and more importantly integrated.

    26 Nov 2005, 15:50

  3. Andrew Martin

    I will be interested to see the WBS team's reaction to this comment. It does seem a fair criticism to me – I'm just surprised because I believe that the original team spent considerable time considering colour schemes in the interests of accessibility …

    03 Jan 2006, 09:54

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