Friday, July 25, 2008
The Americans with Disabilities Act helps ensure that web sites are accessible to people with special needs. Having a friend and co-worker who is deaf has made me more aware of the issues involved. For example, a deaf user will need closed-captions or transcripts of video. Most of the requirements are not difficult to implement, just hard to remember and to test. We are seeking tools that automate testing to help us identify problems. I have another friend who is color blind and while it is not a disability, software developers need to be aware of some of the problems that can be caused by color blind users. A common design is to use color to distinguish a good state versus an alert state. The obvious choice is to use green for a happy state and red to show some error. While doing this, keep in mind that some percentage of your users will not be able to distinguish between red and green. The simple solution is to change something else in the text such as a little stop sign icon. Anyway, checkout this page for some ideas on being more aware of your color blind users. Color Design Blog / As Seen By The Color Blind by COLOURlovers: "In the U.S. 7% of the male population – or about 10.5 million men – and 0.4% of the female population either cannot distinguish red from green, or see red and green differently. Color blindness affects a significant amount of the population"