Keeping the Color Deficient in Mind when Creating Data Visualizations
04/13/2018 by Jaime D’Agord Data Communication, Modernization - Analytics
There is a misconception that people who are color blind cannot see color at all. There is a small percentage of the population that proves this true, those who have monochromatic vision. But the majority of people considered color deficient can see colors. They just have difficulty differentiating between colors. Red and green being the hardest for them to distinguish.
It is important to keep the color deficient in mind when creating data visualizations as approximately 1 in 12 men and 1 in 200 women have this condition according to Color Blind Awareness.
Good design practices would ensure you take all of the population into consideration when creating data visualizations. An easy way to do this is to use a tool like ColorBrewer.org for selecting color deficient safe palettes. If you are creating your own, to avoid color deficient pitfalls, here are some considerations:
The images below depict the differences between what a red-green color deficient person would see and what everyone else sees:
The following shows the same differences but in data visualizations. If a color deficient person were to read the graph below, they would more than likely not read the information correctly as the red and green blend and appear to be almost the same brown color.
Following good design practices as previously mentioned, the pie chart above was recreated using monochromatic colors. While the colors have changed slightly, the shading is consistent in both visuals.
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