Friday, September 20, 2013

SciCommTips episode 2 - Turn a colorblind eye

When preparing a figure for a presentation, manuscript, or proposal something to keep in mind is your use of color. I am a big fan of the use of color and shapes to help convey levels of meaning as well as in keeping themes consistent throughout projects. However there is one component of the use of color that is often overlooked, that is how your color choices can alienate a portion of your audience - the color blind, or rather color vision deficient. About 8% of men and 0.4% of women have a genetic trait that inhibits their ability to perceive some wavelengths of light, but a quick check of your figures can help ensure that they too can interoperate your work with the same ease as a color sighted person. In this episode of SciCommTips I will demonstrate an easy ways to check your images for color vision deficiency.

Please feel free to offer your recommendations on ways to improve figures to be more color vision deficient friendly. Or any stories you may have regarding data interpretation/misinterpretation due to color vision deficiency.

To learn more about color blindness
Colblindor has many great articles:
Also this blog:

Article about how to be color blind conscious in the sciences (includes microscopy and heatmaps)
Maxine Clark blogged in Nature Nautilus:

Adobe soft proofing for color blindness

Some additional tools for checking your figures
If you don't have the Adobe CS4-6 there are alternative options to test your figures. Clobindor has a list of many options to chose from, including ImageJ:

Here you can upload an image and compare it under the various filters:

No comments:

Post a Comment