/ Productivity

Charts are a Nightmare

I have been complaining a lot about UX lately, but I have all the reason for this one. Whenever I see graphical representation of any data, I feel disappointed. The reason: Color Blindness.

8% of people in the world have a type of color blindness[1], which gives you a statistic like this as of 2017:

Around 280 million internet users out of 3.5 billion are suffering from color blindness worldwide.

This is a huge number, yet it is very uncommon to see graphical content or charts that are formatted for those people, including me. A pie chart having a legend for colors red, green, yellow, brown makes it impossible for me to read it. Here is an example:


I have no idea which portion maps to October, March August or Others. Or July, April or May.

There are no guidelines on how to address this currently unfortunately. However, I came up with a community in W3 Consortium called Color Blindness Accessibility Community Group, which aims to do this, although it does not appear to be a very active group.

There are a couple of websites that explain how a color-blind friendly chart should be created, and here is a sample list of colors that can be used safely for that purpose:


I hope the effort to create a web standard to address this gets significant support, so that 8% of the world can access the graphical information with equal comfort compared to the remaining 92% of the population.

  1. Courtesy of gilliganondata.com ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎

Koray Alkan

Koray Alkan

Software Developer @Bloomberg. Love classical music, reading and playing the trumpet. Opinions are my own.

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