Designing for the world: Color contrast tools

The other day I put a call out for tools to check websites to make sure they are accessible for people with color deficiencies and got back some great responses that I thought I would share. Please note, that I am using the term color deficiency here, rather than color blindness. It’s not meant to be politically correct, it’s meant to be more accurate. Some of these tools also help when designing for people with other visual deficiencies.

Contrast-A is a adobe air app that Allows you to easily Check how two colors look when placed on top of one another and also if they pass Web Content Accessibility Guidelines for contrast in their natural state, and four different common forms of color deficiency. You are able to save color pairs for later reference and export a pdf that explains what level of WCAG2.0 passage it has under normal vision.

Sim Daltonism is a OSX application that allows you to view a portion of your screen as if you are suffering from one of eight types of color deficiency. It is incredibly easy to use, and can be especially handy when you are dealing with very color complex websites.

WorldSpace Fire Eyes is a firefox and firebug plugin that allows for excellent accessibility testing, including color contrast testing. It provides you with a list of concerns related to the page you are looking at, including recommendations from the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines on solutions.

Those three tools are coming in very handy when testing the accessibility of designs and sites. As I look for more and find them, I’ll make sure to share them here.

One thought on “Designing for the world: Color contrast tools”

  1. Aviary has a great color palette picket app called Toucan. It allows you to create a full set and view all the colors in comparison to one another against the two.common color deficiencies and in grayscale for full color-blindness.

    Nice roundup post. Thanks!

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