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In my previous post, I referred to my final project as a colorization project. On the one side of the pages, I will have black and white images of the Russian October Revolution. On the other side of the pages, I will display the same images in color. My argument is that in this way, visitors to my website will be able to see not only the gray scale of the events, but also their color representation. In this sense, their understanding of those events will be more complex, but, at the same time, the past will be less of a foreign black and white country.

So far, it seems that everything is going smooth and all I need to to is just to follow the instructions of Photoshop and to get a deeper knowledge of the portraits and the dress code of that period. Nevertheless, there seems to be one more aspect of my colorized project. This aspect concerns the web surfers with different degrees of colorblindness.How to convey a sense of color to persons who cannot see any color?

I started to think about these issues, after reading Leslie Jensen-Inman’s thoughts on Contrast is King. The main idea is that if for normal vision, contrast is king, then for viewers with colorblindness, contrast is King. In other words, if for a person with normal vision, contrast is an additional device to improve the readability and the overall feeling of the website, then to a colorblind person contrast is crucial, because this category of users are able to feel the color only when a strong contrast is conveyed.

From theory to practice! In the article Jensen-Inman provides a series of tools, which can help us to design a contrast and color safe website. From these series, I especially recommend two websites: checkmycolors.com and graybit.com. Both of them are good tools for checking a website in terms of color contrast. The former website is a devise to check the arrangement of colors on a website while the later reads your website in a gray scale.

I have to say that I tried it for my own portfolio site, and it proved slightly painful: out of 27 elements on my page, I got on average 15 failures. Nevertheless, it is better to improve your site in the design phase, then to wait for a couple of years. In addition, it helps to put your website in a context with other websites. As Jensen-Inman acknowledges: “The only site I tested that did not have any “failures” was checkmycolours.com.”

Since my final project is focused on colors, I have to think about the ways in which to provide a sense of colors not only for the audience with normal vision, but also for the part of the audience, which has different degrees of colorblindness. Since a web page is a combination of color and text, I will provide an in depth description of the each element of the colorized images.

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