A seventeen year old high school student from India has been researching ways to make visual content online better suited to those who are colour blind. Animesh Tripathi has been experimenting with algorithms to ascertain the best way to adjust colour schemes for websites, making it easier for colour blind users to see videos, charts and images.
He undertook this research when a friend was unable to enter the Indian Air Force as a fighter pilot due to having red-green colour blindness, the most common form of the condition.
“Some simple technical changes on the receiving end go a long way in enhancing the visual experience for the color blind,” he said. “Devices tend to have magnifying and color-inversion features for visual problems, however, despite the prevalence of color blindness, there has not been any native, inbuilt feature that can correct visual content at the press of a button.”
According to the American Acandemy of Ophthalmology, around 8% of men and 0.5% of women in the U.S. with Northern European ancestry are red-green colour blind. Although there are existing tools out there that aim to assist with the visual impairment, Tripathi’s solution has the benefit of not being dependent on original design choices.
“I felt that responsible design should be inclusive and should cater to the needs of the color blind,” he said. “A universal solution could have the potential to assist a significant number of people.”
Using Tripathi’s research, manufacturers could build accessibility features in to their software but it could also be used directly by users via a manually installed program. The young budding researcher is presently working on a Google Chrome extension called ReColour, which will automatically adjust colour schemes depending on the settings chosen by the user.
[Image via RGthinkcreative]