Back in 2009 I had to pick a subject for my graduation thesis. I had various subjects in mind, non of which felt so close to me as the subject of colorblindness. I decided to graduate on colorblindness on the internet.

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What happened so far

Back in 2009 I had to pick a subject for my graduation thesis. I had various subjects in mind, non of which felt so close to me as the subject of colorblindness. I decided to graduate on colorblindness on the internet.

Graduating could have gone better; the site and patterns where created in a quite a hurry. Still, I was happy with the end result, and I wasn’t the only one judging from the 25.000 visitors I got during the first two weeks.

I couldn’t dedicate as much time to the site as I wanted to after my graduation so progress halted for a bit. Then disaster struck; a hard drive failure in the server the website was on. I did have some early backups, but not nearly recent enough to fully restore the site.

Losing something like that is horrible, but I wasn’t too broken up about it. TheĀ originalĀ site and concept where created with the purpose of being a graduation product and while it did solve some problems and provided some information, I was not a good base for expansion. So in the end I saw the crash as an opportunity to start fresh, with a new plan.

Time was still sparse, but I kept working on the new version. I think I started over about 5 times, never really happy with what it was turning into. At the start of attempt 6 I decided to keep it simple; I dropped the patterns and put more focus on articles and examples and adopted a simple goal;

We are Colorblind.com is dedicated to making the web and beyond a better place for the colorblind.

Doing so by informing and educating about colorblindness, by preventing and fixing any mistakes made that affect the colorblind and by providing realible information on how to prevent those mistakes, but also by actively engaging the people responsible for those mistakes.
I hope to create an understanding of what colorblindness is and why it’s important to keep the colorblind in mind with those that create not just for the web, but anyone that works with color – online and offline.

I’d love to hear from you if you have any ideas or suggestions, whether you’re colorblind or not. I’m especially interested in examples of the things that don’t work for you as a colorblind, both as practical examples or stories you’d like to share.
I’m also interested in how you – as a non-colorblind – design for the colorblind or suit their needs in whatever you do. I’m interested in stories from designers, developers or anyone who works with color.

Say hi on the contact page, I’d love to hear from you!

So, right now I’m proud to present the new and improved version of wearecolorblind.com, build from scratch with love and hope. I’ll be adding more articles and examples soon as well as various other content. So follow me on twitter or facebook to keep up!

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Comments

  1. Mary

    I’m on a team currently trying to decide how to handle visual issues online. It’s not easy! It would be great to have recommended standards for web representations.

    Given the many variations of colorblindness, I doubt color-no color options are the way to go. (Why strip all color unnecessarily? Wouldn’t that make a website very dull for those who can see any color variations?) And buttons/action requests…how should they best be represented?

    I’d love to hear feedback from those who are colorblind web users!

  2. Kevin Black

    I appreciate your efforts and the amount of information on what the problems are, how they effect people and samples of sites that don’t do their best to help those afflicted. However, what I don’t see is suggestions and solutions for web designed like myself beyond adding underlines for lines in text. This doesn’t help for color palettes or other suggestions we could use to help make our sites better overall.

    • Tom van Beveren

      Thanks Kevin, and you’re right, that part of the information is still missing. Writing content takes a lot of time. I’m currently focused on the basics, providing the background information needed.

      Next step is indeed providing suggestions and solutions, researching color palettes, etc. Bear with me while I work on it, but it’s coming, I promise!

  3. Len

    The last thing you need to be doing is adding any undue aoumnt of frustration atop the heads of your players. That special concern paid to accessibility could also be an indirect selling point for certain segments of the population after the fact, which is important. MMOs are really an honest product in that your profits rely heavily on how happy your customers are AFTER their purchase, and how long they’re happy with your product and the ongoing service. This is a great thought, and in all honesty something I probably would have overlooked.