What Not To Do When Designing a WebSite For Vision Impaired Surfers

I have missed out on hundreds of web sites in my last decade of internet surfing. I remember back in the day when almost every web site I visited was by a rookie who was learning how to write HTML and how difficult 70% of those web sites were to read. Now that hosting sites have dumbed down web site design web reading and surfing has become easier for myself and many other surfers with vision problems.

Most of the vision problems of web sites for those of us with vision impairment is not about the size of the font. I rarely find a web site that has type to small to read even without my glasses. The problem that I have found as an Iritis sufferer is color. Yes, color. It seems that some people either lack the ability to color coordinate or they are unaware that their color choices make their web site difficult or impossible to read.

Number 1:

Don’t of Web Site Design for Vision Impaired Surfers: Don’t Use Blue!

As I type this I am using the AC publisher that has light blue tabs with gray writing. I can read the publisher tabs, but when I visit the home page of AC that is a different story. On AC’s other pages you will find this same color blue with white writing , just look near the top of this page. That light blue with white is very difficult to read. It is not just light blue that is the problem the deeper blues are even worse, they are too bright and there is not enough contrast between blue and white.

A friend sent me a web link recently for some scrapbook tips. I visited the link and found a blank blue screen. I knew however that it wasn’t blank it was just blue on blue. This is a huge mistake! Many people, even those without vision problems will have trouble reading blue an blue. Those of us with vision impairments may not even be able to distinguish the different shades of blue.

Number 2:

Don’t of Web Site Design for Vision Impaired Surfers: Don’t use Red and Green!

Do you remember learning in school that some people can not read red on green and others can not read green on red? In middle school when learning about genetics you should have learned that some folks have a genetic flaw that makes reading red on green or green on red impossible. When these folks visit your site they will just be seeing green or red and you will have lost their attention.

Number 3:

Don’t of Web Site Design for Vision Impaired Surfers: Yellow on Black!

Can you say instant headache!? Yellow on black is a great contrast but anyone with light sensivity will find your web site difficult to read. If you insist on having yellow and black try putting your background as a light shade of yellow and use black fonts.

Number 4:

Don’t of Web Site Design for Vision Impaired Surfers: Don’t use 3-D shadows!

I know it looks cool to have your text have a 3-d effects with ten layers of shadow underneath, however these 3-D shadows play havoc with the eye. To read a word with a 3-D shadow I have to really concentrate on the main word and try to block out the fading shadow. The shadow especially on a computer screen fools the eye and makes the word difficult to read. Either avoid long shadows or use sparringly.

Number 5:

Don’t of Web Site Design for Vision Impaired Surfers: Be careful with gray!

Gray is great when used on black, however when used on other colors the gray becomes difficult to read. Grey is a tricky color, it is great to use to “gray out” a link that has been visited, but it may not be enough of a contrast. Gray can easily blend into browns and blues if the wrong shade is used. To use gray you just need enough of a contrast between your background and your font. Thinking of medical website development? Or any other websites that you prefer? For you to be successful on it, you have to follow the mentioned don’ts.

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