10% of people have some form of visual impairment, which means that colour combinations and contrasts are very important for website effectiveness.
Using colour to enhance a website’s usability is more about contrast than the actual colours themselves, an expert has said.
According to Chris Lake of E-consultancy, while professionals generally advise that specific combinations of colours and odd page layouts are no-go areas for usability, it is the contrast created between text and backgrounds that is the key issue.
He advised web designers to bear in mind that about a tenth of all people have some form of vision impairment and to test the strength of a possible website design by printing out layout sketches in greyscale to see how well the eye can distinguish between the site’s colours.
“Contrast is hugely important for accessibility reasons. Strong contrast is required to ensure legibility, so make sure the background is substantially different from the text colour,” Mr Lake recommended.
According to recent comments made by Paul Walsh of web certification company Segala to SiliconRepublic, improving accessibility does not necessarily have to occur overnight – it is more about making ongoing changes and informing users that the firm behind the site is aware of the importance of the issue, he said.
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