With so many different considerations to manage when it comes to website accessibility, color contrast may seem like an obvious place to start, but it is unfortunately something that all too often gets overlooked.
Color contrast is vitally important for websites for several reasons, however, and not all of them are related to web accessibility. Color contrast can, for example, dramatically affect the aesthetics of a website, making it more visually appealing and engaging. By using contrasting colors effectively, designers can create a harmonious and eye-catching design that draws users' attention to important elements and enhances the overall user experience.
So, while ensuring good color contrast is certainly crucial for making websites accessible to people with visual impairments, it also plays a significant role in the overall design and user experience of a website for non-disabled visitors.
Ensuring Readability & A Clear Visual Identity
First and foremost, it is of course crucial that websites are designed to be accessible to everyone, including people with visual impairments. Good color contrast ensures that text and other important content is easily readable for everyone, including those with low vision or color blindness.
Ensuring sufficient contrast between background and text fundamentally makes it easier for all your visitors to read and comprehend your content, and not just those with recognized conditions such as low vision. Without enough contrast, text is liable to blend into the background, making it difficult for anyone to read and understand.
In addition, color contrast can also play a crucial role in your website’s branding and aesthetics, as high contrast can also help you create a memorable and vivid brand identity, highlight important elements, create visual hierarchy, and draw the user's attention to specific areas of the page.
But just how easy or difficult is it to make sure your website’s color contrast is on point?
Color Contrast: An Easy Fix or A Pain to Maintain?
Well, the truth is that color contrast for websites can be easy or difficult to maintain depending on the approach taken by your website's designers and developers.
If your website is designed with color contrast in mind from the outset, it can be relatively easy to maintain. Designers can select colors with high contrast ratios, use color combinations that are known to be accessible and legible and ensure that text and other important elements stand out from the background.
On the other hand, if color contrast is not a priority during the design phase, it can be difficult and time-consuming to retrofit the website with good color contrast. This may require significant changes to the website's color scheme, including changing the color of text, backgrounds, and other design elements. This can be a complex process that requires careful consideration of the website's overall design and branding.
Maintenance & Technical Limitations
Some technical limitations can make it challenging to achieve good color contrast. For example, certain design tools may not provide adequate color contrast checking, or some older web browsers may not support certain color combinations or contrast ratios.
Maintaining good color contrast can also be a challenge, particularly when adding new content or features to the website. Website owners and developers need to be aware of the impact of any new content on the website's overall color scheme and ensure that it maintains good color contrast.
Achieving good color contrast for websites requires a careful balance between accessibility, aesthetics, branding, and technical considerations, and will require ongoing maintenance and updates to ensure that the website remains accessible and legible to all users.
Color Contrast and Forms
The Bottom Line
In summary, color contrast is important for websites because it improves accessibility, legibility, branding, and aesthetics.
Overall, while accessibility is a vitally important consideration when looking at your website’s color contrast, it is not the only factor that should be considered. It is important to keep in mind that good color contrast is also essential for improving the legibility, navigation, and aesthetics of a website.
With a commitment to accessibility, attention to detail, and a willingness to make changes to the website's design as needed you can ensure that your website is accessible and legible to all your visitors.
Test your website’s color contrast accessibility and visualize assorted colors for your website design with our free Color Contrast Checker.