If an eye doctor has ever tested you, you know dilated pupils and light-sensitive vision make it hard to read. And while this may only be a once-a-year inconvenience for you, some people deal with these challenges daily. So, what’s one way to make your website content easier to understand for all users? A website contrast checker can significantly improve your content’s readability and make your site more accessible and compliant.
Let’s start by learning how this assistive tech tool can help your site accommodate more users, including those with vision-related impairments.
How a Website Color Checker Can Improve Accessibility
Color contrast is essential for accessibility because it directly impacts users with vision-related disabilities. But it’s also crucial to create a better user experience for everyone, regardless of their abilities. That’s because low-contrast colors used together decrease readability, while high-contrast colors used together increase it.
The best web color contrast checkers enable you to change the lightness or darkness of colors. It can be as simple as inputting your foreground and background color values to quickly see your results and make the necessary adjustments. Many web contrast checkers also include tools that help accommodate people with color blindness.
Web color contrast defines the comparative disparity between written content and all related background variables. That said, pairing colors like black text over a white background is easier for site visitors to distinguish, making your messaging easier to read and retain. And that’s not only better for accessibility and compliance—it’s also a better user experience that can improve your online sales. The good news is a web color contrast checker is an affordable solution to improve accessibility and help mitigate costly legal fines for non-compliance (more about that below).
A Web Contrast Checker Can Also Help You Comply
You can make many modifications and accommodations to help your website follow the WCAG 2.0 rules, and you’re probably wondering where to start. One of the quickest ways to start getting your website up to code is to check the color contrast to ensure that it’s accessible for people with visual impairments.
While some WCAG 2.0 rules are vague, this one is obvious. The contrast rules state, “Contrast (Minimum): The visual presentation of text and text images has a contrast ratio of at least 4.5:1. Now, there are some caveats to that, but knowing your baseline is essential in this situation.
However, if you aren’t a web designer, you might now wonder what this even means. If you want to learn more about contrast ratios, that’s great! We have some tips in the following section that can point you in the right direction.
5 Tips for Optimizing Web Color Accessibility
1. Text & Background Color Variations
It’s best not to be too stark with your text and background colors. For instance, 100% black text on a 100% white background can blur or move text for anyone with Irlen syndrome.
2. Text Over Images
Always include solid backgrounds behind text or dark image overlays for optimal readability.
3. How To Check Contrast
A web accessibility color checker is an excellent solution for creating a color-compliant user experience. These tools help you find and fix your color contrast to increase content legibility and accessibility.
4. Optimal Contrast Ratios
There’s a mathematical solution to achieve the minimum color contrast on your website: a ratio of 4.5:1 of backgrounds to text. Large-scale text and images of large-scale text should have a 3:1 contrast ratio.
5. Remember That Textures Matter Too
Color isn’t the only thing to consider when improving readability. For instance, you can give end users the option to add patterns and textures to charts and graphs. This flexibility makes it easier for people who have difficulty perceiving color differences. That way, they can recognize elements like graphs without color impacting how they perceive and comprehend information.
What Did We Learn?
- Accessibility: Accessibility and readability closely align regarding website contrast checkers. This tool helps you integrate optimal color values and contrast ratios to simplify the web experience for people with disabilities (and those without). The result is enhanced web accessibility for everyone who visits your website.
- Compliance: WCAG 2.0 provides clear guidelines for color accessibility, and an effective website color checker is an excellent solution to get you there.
- Sales: Naturally, increasing web accessibility also elevates your potential online sales by making your products and services available to a broader audience. Color contrast is a critical component of accessibility; now, you know how to achieve that through assistive technology.
- Ethics: Nobody should be excluded from websites because they have a disability. But unfortunately, most websites are still not accessible to over one billion people with disabilities worldwide. That said, a website color checker can help you better serve people with vision-related impairments—and that’s one giant step in the right direction.
Learn how UserWay can help support your accessibility, and compliance needs below.
UserWay: For all of Your Color-Contrast Needs
The UserWay website color contrast checker can help determine if your site is WCAG-compliant without any hassle. If you’re suspicious that your site’s contrast is problematic, you can select a foreground color and background color and get your results immediately. Want to pass your ratios to your team?
You can quickly email the results to your designer, web admin, or development team. If you don’t want to change your site after you get your ratios back, you can install the UserWay widget so users can change the contrast themselves.
Why not get started with a free trial today?
What Colors Should You Avoid Concerning Color Blindness?
Red/green color blindness is the most prevalent form of this condition. So, avoid green-on-red or red-on-green text and background combinations.
Do Color Contrast Rules Relate to Logos?
No. Nonetheless, you still want to meet the 4.5:1 contrast ratio if your logo has text like a company name or tagline. EXAMPLE: The text must be readable for a logo with a restaurant name (e.g John’s Fish Market).
What About Graphs, Icons & Other Visual Elements?
WCAG 2.0 did add a Non-Text Contrast guideline for these visual elements. It requires a 3:1 minimum contrast for adjoining colors. Of course, the higher difference is always preferable, so choose colors that stand apart and make your info easy to digest.