First Advisor

Ellie Harmon

Date of Award

Summer 2020

Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Computer Science and University Honors


Computer Science




User interfaces (Computer systems) -- Design, Color blindness, Color vision, Human-computer interaction, Symbolism of colors, Accessible Web sites for people with disabilities




Around 108 million web users are color blind which is a problem when the way we communicate over the web or interfaces is through the use of color. Red and green are two colors that are especially heavily used in interface design because of their strong symbolic associations; red being a sign to warn or stop and green being the opposite. This has a large effect on red-green color blind people who are not able to perceive either of those colors correctly. Many solutions exist that aim to help through color differentiation but none take into account color symbolism. With the aim to explore red and green color symbolism in association with the red-green deficient community, interviews were conducted with four red-green deficient individuals. It was found that colorblindness varies from person to person, the need for solutions resulted in many creative work arounds, color blind people still understand color symbolism, charts and patterns are very difficult to understand, and current accessibility modifications alter the user experience. Based on these findings, three implementations for design were outlined - Interfaces should retain meaningful colors, consistency is critical, and customization is ideal.


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