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Richard Rutter

I have strong protanomaly. This means I struggle to see red. Imagine if you turn down the red channel in Photoshop: reds turn grey or black; brown and yellow turn green; purple goes blue and pink becomes grey.

Despite this, I find that design suggestions catering for colour blind people are often over-stated. I rarely come across an issue on the web where my colour-blindess causes a problem.

That said you have done a brilliant job in identifying some the often overlooked areas. Put simply, problems only arise in two circumstances:

# when I need to know what the colour actually is
# when I need to spot a difference between two colours

The first – colour labelling – crops up often when trying to buy clothes. It is very useful to know if I’m about to buy a pink t-shirt I thought was grey.

The second usually crops up when things are marked red and I am required to distinguish them from the black. I hate that. Similarly applies to charts and maps, but rarely. Ironically red is rarely a problem – the biggest issue is telling apart orange/green and yellow/green.

It’s also worth noting that, while you need to provide a method other than colour to distinguish things such as links, that other method can very often be context. For a list of links (eg. nav) may often look like a list of links, and may even be labelled as such, so I don’t need to know what colour they are to know what they do.

Thanks again for pointing out and illustrating the bits of design which do need attention – particularly that problems can often be overcome using words.