Super Sense of Colors

Colors. Each individual has his own preference. In my previous projects, each head had a different suggestion on colors used, and they chose it because some big names use it, or simply because they like it.

As a UX designer, you have to make sure that colors are not just colors. They have to be usable, help users to browse content easily. So how do you make sure the colors are readable? You can have that super sense of colors, by easily using the Colour Contrast Check.

It’s based on the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines Contrast Ratio Formula. In English? It makes your content readable, easy to the eyes of the users.

You can also say this, when people in the project team are arguing on the colors to use:

Based on the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines Contrast Ratio Formula by W3C, the combination of this color as the background and this color as the foreground didn’t pass the AA compliance and AAA compliance.

When the other person asked: “What the hell is that?”, I shortly replied “The colors are not readable.”

Then I show them a comparison of what we had, and my solution to the colors. Remember, never criticize a design without offering solution.

Let’s do an exercise. I googled ‘Example of bad websites’, then I came across Federal Emergency Management Agency’ site.

I’m gonna improve the colors for ‘FEDERAL EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY’ text.

Let’s see the result for the current colors combination. (Background #FFFF00, Foreground #1CB501).

It gave me four NOs, for WCAG 2 AA Compliant. I played a bit, then came up with #0F5F01 for the foreground color.

I got four YESes! So which one is more readable? Ofcourse the four YESes. No doubt that changing that green into a more readble green will make the site better. At least it won’t be shown as a seach result of ‘Example of bad websites’.

Practice often. Google for ‘bad websites’, then try improving the colors using Colour Contrast Check. Own that super sense of colors, look like a color expert.

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