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I've made a visualization that consists of various colors. Now I would like to test, if also color-blind people can use my application in a meaningful way. Is there any tool etc that I can run to see my application like color-blind people would perceive it?

My application is a plain Java application that uses the Processing framework to draw the visualization. I would really prefer a framework or tool that I can hook into my application to achieve that effect. If this is not possible a website where I can upload some screenshots would also be feasible.

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I think the answers given are along the lines you are looking for. However, accessibility standards state that you should never rely on colour alone. If you have symbols/annotations in addition to colour, then the chosen colours will not be as critical to comprehension. (you will need some textual version of your representation to satisfy screen reader users anyway, perhaps that could also be of use to colour-blind users). w3.org/TR/UNDERSTANDING-WCAG20/… (also applies to people with black & white printers, not just colour blind people). –  Lee Kowalkowski Apr 3 '12 at 21:08
Looks like this is a duplicate question of: ux.stackexchange.com/questions/71/… –  stefan.s Jun 20 '12 at 8:37
@stefan.s good call. However that old question was more of a shopping request than a question (give me examples of X) so I've marked that one as a duplicate of this question - lets keep this one as the canonical one as it's more answerable than the older one. –  JonW Jun 20 '12 at 10:15
Please consider marking an answer as accepted, or leaving a comment of what more information you're looking for. –  Kit Grose May 30 '14 at 3:49

8 Answers 8

There's a spectacularly cool desktop app for Windows, Mac and Linux called Color Oracle which is really nifty and adjusts everything you see to mimic many various types of colour blindness in real time and isn't limited to static images or websites.

Here are some screenshots showing the UX website under Deuteranopia, Protanopia and Tritanopia respectively:

A screenshot of the UX Stack Exchange website as seen by a Deuteranopic viewer (someone with red weakness)

A screenshot of the UX Stack Exchange website as seen by a Protanopic viewer (someone with green weakness)

A screenshot of the UX Stack Exchange website as seen by a Tritanopic viewer (someone with blue weakness)

Notice how my wallpaper and browser chrome is also modified—the whole OS gets the colour treatment which allows you to test icons, movies and many other things outside of just websites.

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Yes Color Oracle is excellent. And free. Also consider Xscope as it does cost money but has lots of other excellent tools, presbyopia tester as well. –  The Question Apr 5 '12 at 11:30
color oracle is actually broken on gnome-shell now. –  airtonix Apr 8 at 3:29

You're in luck. There are a number of websites that do this. Here are two I use:

http://www.vischeck.com/vischeck/vischeckURL.php -- tests any website you point it at. You could take a snapshot and put it on a webserver. (I don't think it'll work with the Processing applet.)

http://colorfilter.wickline.org/ -- similar idea, with even more options.

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There's a tool for that:


As a safe approach, I would use high contrast colours that match the WCAG colour contrast formula.

Someone made an online tool for that: http://www.snook.ca/technical/colour_contrast/colour.html

If colours are not the answer, why not use pattern-backgrounds? ..plenty here: http://lea.verou.me/css3patterns/

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Vision Australia also releases a desktop app for Windows and Mac in collaboration with the Web Accessibility Tools Consortium (wat-c) for checking contrast against the WCAG recommendations called Colour Contrast Analyser –  Kit Grose Apr 10 '12 at 1:04

If you have Photoshop or Illustrator, there is a view filter that you could look at screenshots as they would appear in both Deuteranope and Protanope vision. In CS5 it is under View > Proof Setup > Color Blindness...

You could also try finding a person with color blindness to test your application. Colorblindness affects about 1 in 12 males, so chances are you know someone affected.

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Yes I know a person that could test my application and I will also contact him. However I want to "experience" it by myself to see how it really looks like. –  RoflcoptrException Apr 3 '12 at 16:53

There's an app for that: CVSimulator

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A little late to the party but I'm using a chrome extension called Spectrum

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Jenn Lukas wrote an article on A List Apart [April 9, 2014] showing how you can use Chrome's Accessibility Developer Tools to easily test color contrasting.

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If you're using Adobe Photoshop you can do some soft-proofing for colorblindness: http://jaykinghorn.com/2008/11/25/photoshop-cs4-color-blindness-proofing/

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