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Re: continued - human factor

From: Chris Kreussling <CHRIS.KREUSSLING@ny.frb.org>
Date: Thu, 20 Aug 1998 11:35:11 -0400
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Message-id: <s5dc0ac8.036@ny.frb.org>
>>> <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org> 08/19 7:35 PM >>>
> ... Color   http://www.humanfactors.com/color/color.htm  where
> they do say accommodate colorblind users <smile> ...
> No mention of accessibility?
I would argue that designing for colorblindness is an accessibility issue.

In my previous position I and my team were responsible for automating computer (large mainframe) operations: startup, shutdown, reacting to messages issued by the system, and so on. I also developed a system which tracks the status of important resources and sends messages to a single console (monitor) to notify the computer operators of situations requiring their attention or action. The monitors (consoles) by which the operators monitor and interact with the system are text-only (generally 80 characters wide by 24 characters/lines high) and limited to seven colors.

* The colors of the system and notification messages? As dictated by an ISO standard (if anyone has a URL for this, please post), Green for good, all clear; Red for critical problem. 
* Accessibility issue? Red-green colorblindness. "Good" and "Critical" messages could appear the same!
* Accessibility solution? Redundant information. Modify the beginning of the text of the message with an indicator of the relative severity of the problem, such as adding a suffix to the message-id, an asterisk "*" to the message-id if the operator had to respond immedaitely, and so on. Accessibility considerations aside, redundant information is a general human-factors design strategy.
* Beneficial "side-effect"? When operators print the screens, they can still recognize the severity of the messages, even though the printed page is black and white. Another example of how designing for accessibility improves conditions for everyone.

Chris Kreussling
The views expressed are those of the author 
and do not necessarily reflect the position 
of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York 
or the Federal Reserve System.
Received on Thursday, 20 August 1998 11:38:50 UTC

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