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April 15, 2013 / carlispina

See What It Is Like To Be Color Blind with the Colour Blindness Simulator

As many as 1 in 10 men are color blind and while color blindness is significantly less common in women, it does occur. While most people think of color blindness as a monolithic trait, there are actually several types of color blindness that can make it difficult to see the distinction between different colors. While there are obviously many situations where it is vital to be able to differentiate between colors, one arena that often presupposes that everyone can distinguish colors is the internet. Many websites build cues for users into the colors of text or images or use colored text on a colored background in a way that can be difficult for anyone who is color blind. To help web designers, or really anyone, understand what color blindness means, the Colour Blindness Simulator provides a description of the three main types of color blindness and allows users to upload an image, up to 1000 pixels by 1000 pixels and 100 KB or less, and see how it would appear to those who are color blind. This is a great opportunity to learn the distinction between Protanopia, Deuteranopia, and Tritanopia and could be used in schools to give students a concrete example of how an image that they select would look to someone with color blindness. But, its primary purpose is to allow web designers to test images to ensure that they will work for everyone in their audience, including those with color blindness. For both purposes, the tool works well. It is easy to upload images and the resulting comparison does a good job of showing the distinctions between the types of color blindness. While it is only possible to upload small images, there is also the option to test larger images or entire websites for a fee of £1.99 (or about $3.00). For designers who are interested in ensuring that their websites will work for users who are color blind, this is a very helpful option.

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