Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Color contrast Calculator

Ok, so in the last post I wrote about color contrast and provided some links to a few calculators. I found however, that the calculators have all been designed for the designers and not for the usability tester. So the bold, adventurous spirit that I am… not really, just interested enough, decided to prototype one. Ok, so it is very early in the Alpha phase, and yes I designed it in excel… but I think it has a lot of potential. 
Here’s what it does.
  • .       Provides the practitioner with an eyedrop color selector. Many times when doing analyses, we do not have access to the original code, and even if we did, going through code to find a hexadecimal color code isn’t exactly the best use of time.   Provides a quick pass fail for both color and brightness, as well as a combined pass fail.
  • .       Shows percentages for acceptance

What it should/ will do
  •   Accept text size
  •  Have a second tester for background contrast. A big problem with contrast is not just the for/background contrast, but it is also the amount of changing contrast found in the background. For example, if the background is a faded brick wall, although any given color provide plenty of contrast for the forground, the internal contrast between the levels of brick make text reading illegible.
  •   The program should automatically spit out the text needed to present the data, with descriptive stats included and everything. (i.e., A basic color contrast analyses showed low levels of contrast (CD = 100)…) 
  • Provide an example of the colors chosen.
  • A bread toaster.

I am attaching my first draft for anyone interested in looking. HERE is the link


  1. That's freakin' cool. Good idea. And extra points for Excel since it's so retro-geek-chic.

  2. I'm still waiting for my bread to toast, but everything else worked great!

    Thanks for providing something useful!


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