Many of us have felt a little bit confused when it comes to determining precisely what shade of red an item of clothing is. But imagine having to deal with that every day in relation to colour?

For some other people, it can be a lot more severe. If you are chatting with your friends you may be shocked to discover if you are both looking at a colour and when asked to describe it you both describe it differently. It doesn’t necessarily mean you have a colour vision deficit. It is just that your perception is different, as not everyone perceives colours the same way.

Colour blindness, medically known as colour vision deficiency, is the inability of a person to recognise specific colours either from birth or due to any trauma or disease. Colour blindness is usually inherited, but in some instances may be acquired. 

Many video games, and even Google Chrome are considerate of people who have colour vision deficits and have settings that can be adapted. Teachers at schools who are aware of their students may use coloured pens that are visible and easy to see for everyone.

Another great way to help people who have a colour vision deficit is to try to use different textures, as opposed to multiple colours, especially for elements that require emphasis.

For example, it might be difficult for colour blind users to interpret graphs and charts. In this case, it’s better to use contrasting patterns and, where possible, place text instead.

Instead of thinking, why should l cater to such a small portion of people who have a colour vision deficit? Think of it this way – generally, the elements that are favourable for colour-blind users are considered to be good design practices on the broader sense. So if you do something that is well designed, it should already be accessible to all users.

Aside from using textures, you need to be smart when picking out your colour combinations. Since colour blindness affects people in different ways, it’s challenging to determine which colours are ‘safe’ to use. That being said, here are a few colour combinations to avoid because they’re a potential nightmare to colour blind users:

Green & Red

Green & Brown

Blue & Purple

Green & Blue

Light Green & Yellow

Blue & Grey

Green & Grey

Green & Black