Decision Intelligence Blog: Reports, Dashboarding and Color Blindness
Reporting and Dashboarding Tips and Tricks
Using reports and dashboards to analyse business performance and make decisions is a fundamental aspect of a Decision Intelligence strategy. However, it is possible to get a little carried away when developing this type of content as we have so many options and possibilities to make our visualizations ‘stand out’, particularly when using color and images. In this series of articles we will look into different aspects of report and dashboard design.
Building Dashboard for Visually Impaired users
To kick off, we will look into colours, most specifically, how some choices will work out for people with colour blindness. 1 in 12 men and 1 in 200 women suffer from some type of colour blindness or CVD (colour vision deficiency). Bearing this fact in mind, we should be aiming at making our visualizations as user-friendly as possible.
In this entry, we will showcase five color combination do’s and don’t’s, explained in simple terms, so they’re easy to remember and apply in everyday visualizations. At the end of this article, you will find some user-friendly color palette suggestions.
Types of Color Blindness
There are different types of color blindness, although most users with CVD will struggle with reds, oranges, yellows, browns and greens. You can see below an example of how these colors might look like to users with Deuteranopia and Protanopia.
- First Tip: Avoid using green and red. These are the colours that will present most issues to your CVD audience. Some shades of these colors can be extremely problematic as seen in the example below.
Other color combinations to avoid are:
GREEN + brown
GREEN + blue
GREEN + grey
GREEN + black
LIGHT GREEN + yellow
BLUE + grey
BLUE + purple
- Second Tip: However, if you really need to use one of these combinations, a good solution will be using a lighter shade of one of the colors; and a darker shade of the other one, so the difference won’t lie in the actual colour itself, but on the contrast between shades.
In this example, we have used a darker red and a lighter green. The difference now is much more obvious for CVD users.
- Third Tip: We can follow the same dark/light shade principle; this time, using a monochromatic palette.
For example, using grey scales are a great, safe alternative to using colour. The color palette presented below will be perceived the same for CVD and non-CVD users.
If you would still like to use color, stick to one monochromatic palette, e.g. using blue from the darkest shade to the lightest.
- Fourth Tip: If you would like to use two colors, try to use blue and orange. These will always be your ally, as they are considered the best color-friendly palette because of their evident contrast!
- Fifth Tip: USER-FRIENDLY COLOR PALETTES
Visit the Venngage website for more information on user-friendly, accessible color palettes. Some suggestions:
Learn more about how to set your own color palette in Pyramid and use these Themes across a variety of Modules in this Learning Live Session. How to use Themes in Pyramid
Can you think of any visualizations you have worked on recently that could be more user-friendly if applying these easy principles? Let us know your experiences with Report Design and how you handle these Topics in your Pyramid Environment.
Thank you for your time.
*Title Picture from: https://www.colourstudies.com/blog/2019/9/5/colour-blind-test
Great content Sandra, thanks!
As a follow up, there is a section in our Help on creating accessible content, a downloadable PDF guide with examples and a downloadable PDF of Pyramid VPAT declaration.
- See Pyramid VPAT 2022 for Pyramid Accessibility Conformance Report (September 2022). The voluntary assessment report describes the degree of conformance by Pyramid of the WCAG 2.0 and Section 508 standards. The review relates to the 2020 version of the platform.
Hope that helps!
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