Do you know anyone who is colorblind? If you know one hundred people, I’ll bet you know about four of them.
Okay, so think about this person for a minute: do you hate them? Do you hope that they’ll live a dark and meaningless existence, never reaching their full intellectual potential? Are you trying to hide your secrets from them in graph form?
If so, then keep up the good work using red and green together in your graphs and charts. Those suckers will never suspect a thing!
Here’s a taste of your success, put together by Andy Baio at Waxy.org
Now, granted, this is a poorly produced graph anyway, but do you see how much harder it is to tell the difference between Verizon, Charter, and Cox in the right panel? That’s how your colorblind enemies see it, and it makes the information nearly useless.
But it’s not just line charts, we’re using red and green as indicators of good and bad, high and low, on time and late. I deal with this all the time at work, because people seem to have an insatiable lust for these colors in their 3D oblique pie charts.
If you don’t happen to hate all colorblind people, you can get past this “stop lights, go lights” mentality by either labeling the lines, or using different colors. Try blue-grey-red next time you want to show low, normal, and high. Or use a white-red or white-blue gradient to show an increasing scale. Or check your images with Photoshop’s built-in accessibility functions.
Here’s a poem for you to drive it home:
Roses are Red,
Leaves are Green,
If you chart with these colors
I’ll think that you’re mean.
You can now return to your regularly scheduled persecution of people with retinal cone deficiencies. Enjoy!