Colour. Something the majority of us take for granted, but do you remember the days when there were only 256 colours? Like me, you’ve probably not noticed that we’ve moved on from this limited palette. I was talking about web design today and in particular web safe colours and whether or not these were still relevant today. Lynda.com summarises this issue far better than I can here: http://www.lynda.com/resources/webpalette.aspx The site also gives you a bit of background as to why web safe colours were first introduced. We’re now enjoying far more colourful days in front of our screens, 16 million colours to be precise. 16384 of which most modern monitors are capable of displaying according to the w3c: http://www.w3schools.com/html/html_colors.asp.
You might be wondering why I’m talking so much about colour and what relevance it has on a blog about elearning. There are a few reasons why and the relevance it has on this blog:
- My job. I’m a Learning Technologist, I enjoy the technical side of things and regularly use colour tools to find hex codes in order to produce web graphics.
- Accessibility. Colour, and more specifically colour contrast, can play a huge part in making text accessible to people with visual impairments.
- Openness. The articles I’ve looked at to gather more information about this topic all speak for the Western world. Not everyone in the world will have access to a modern monitor and being too colourful might reduce the openness of materials released.
- Technology. Technology is changing and evolving. Designing in 256 colours might, at one stage, have been an advantage for mobile technology with its limited colour screens. But at the rate this is evolving, mobiles will also become increasing colourful.
Along with the resources mentioned previously you might also find this resource useful:
Use colour wisely, it’s easy to get carried away with an entire rainbow at the end of your mouse but keeping it simple will help focus a user’s attention and not overwhelm or distract from what you really want them to focus on, whether it’s a link, email address or text.