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1.4.1 Use of Colour (A)

Understanding 1.4.1 Use of Colour (A)

Colour must not be the only thing used to tell different content apart. This ensures that people who are unable to see colours, or who have difficulty telling different colours apart, have some other way to do so.

Requirements / What to do?

  • When rendered in monochrome, information does not disappear.
  • Text identified by colour as having special meaning has another indicator - a visible border and label, underline or other visual effect.
  • Information graphics and charts that use colour as a key also provide distinctive non-colour differences - hatching patterns or directly applied labels.

Common mistakes

  • A form uses only colour to indicate a required field.
  • Colour-coding text or backgrounds to indicate essential content, pass/fail categorisation, etc.
  • Links are only distinguished from plain text by colour and the colour may not vary from the main body text.
  • Text alternatives that do not include information conveyed by colour differences in the original image.

Useful resources