Data visualization and accessibility: the change is easy!
Written on 4 October 2018, 11:44am
When I come across charts like this, this or this, my reaction is to point to obvious: that the information is unreadable by 1 in 12 men and in 1 in 200 women. Being one of them certainly helps to see the problem 🙂
Pointing it out is certainly good for raising awareness, but it’s not enough. Driving change is what ultimately matters. And the good news is, in most cases the change is really easy. So easy that I can resume it to two action points:
1. Don’t use color alone to convey meaning. Use icons, written content, and other visual elements to reinforce clear communication of the content.https://accessibility.digital.gov/visual-design/color-and-contrast/
2. Make sure there’s sufficient contrast between graph colors so people with color blindness can distinguish the colors.
That’s it! Seriously. Add some symbols to your chart bars and pick a colorblind-friendly palette. Implementing the two points above will make your data visualization efforts more inclusive. If you want to go the extra mile and show some empathy, then
Test what it’s like to view your designs through a color blindness simulatorhttps://accessibility.digital.gov/visual-design/color-and-contrast/
The take away here is that “Designing for accessibility is not that hard“. As in the case of football, “This is not rocket science. It’s really about easy fixes“:
Written by Dorin Moise (Published articles: 264)