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Colorblind People, Can They Really Read Your Web Site?

I once created a notepad-like editor. It is possible with this editor to write Russian text on a western Windows without using a Cyrillic keyboard in front of your computer.

This software is equipped with an on screen Russian keyboard which is situated under the text field of the notepad like editor. The keys on the screen based keyboard is displayed with both Latin and Cyrillic characters. The Cyrillic characters are displayed in red and the Latin are displayed in Black.

http://www.russianeditor.com

One day, I got an angry e-mail from one users of the product.

He wrote

Don't you know that "so and so" many people have one form or another of colorblindness. I can't read the Russian character in the keyboard. Could you change the color of the letters?

At that time I used a bright red color for the Russian characters and the keys were in gray.

I have since of course changed the color. Now I use a more darker red color to represent the Russian letters.

I myself don't suffer from this problem, but I while ago I surfed around on the Internet and found a cool website that is all about colorblindness and remembered the e-mail and the adjustment I had to made to the Russian editor.

On that site is a tool which you can use to see how your website would look if you were a colorblind person. The URL is http://www.vischeck.com/vischeck/vischeckURL.php

You just type on your URL and you can then see how your web page will look for a person with different forms of colorblindness.

I learned there that there are different forms of colorblindness.

In fact the term colorblindness is a little misleading, because most people with color blindness don't see the world in black and white. They can see colors, but not all colors. Total colorblindness is very rare. Color deficiency is a much better term to use.

Different form of color deficiency affects large number of people.

Colorblindness is in a large extent a gender problem, because it is affecting males much more often than females.

Here are some facts, I've learned!

About 8 % of males have some sorts of color deficiency.

For females this figure is under 0.5%.

On the http://www.vischeck.com/vischeck/vischeckURL.php you can check for 3 forms of colorblindness:

Deuteranope (a form of red/green color deficit)

Protanope (another form of red/green color deficit)

Tritanope (a blue/yellow deficit- very rare)

There are more types of colorblindness, but these tests will cover the most common types.

They also offer the same color blindness function with a plug-in software for Photoshop.

Colorblindness is not a problem if the text on your web site is in blank on a white background.

But, if you mix text with color on a colored background, this can create a problem with your web site for many viewers.

It is more common to make mistakes if you mix the wrong colors on external images and banners that have text in one color and the background in another, than to mix the wrong color with raw text.

Copyright 2004 Per Strandberg

About The Author

Per Strandberg is a web marketer and software designer!

Explore Web Niches with The Niche Market Database!

at ==> http://www.niche-exploration.com

He has a site on data storage and backup information at http://www.data-backup-and-storage.com

He also has a site on Russian language learning at http://www.homeworklang.com

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