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Don’t rely on colour alone to provide important information

Published: August 19, 2014

When creating a web form don’t write, ‘the fields with a red dot next to them are compulsory, those with a green dot are optional.’ This statement will be of no use to people who are colour blind, or those using grey-scale monitors, or those using screen readers.

Requiring users to differentiate between colours to access important information can lead to problems. An example would be a navigation button that has red text on a green background, as people who have difficulty differentiating between red and green (the most common kind of colour blindness) will have a hard time trying to navigate the site.

The main colour combinations to avoid for people who are colour blind:

Red/green combinations (memory aid: red berries against green leaves on a tree)

Blue yellow combinations (memory aid: yellow daffodils against a blue sky)

‘The Institute for Dynamic Educational Advancement (IDEA) and Brandeis University’ provide some useful information about colour blindness.


The Institute for Dynamic Educational Advancement (IDEA).

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