Design & Development

Accessibility issues with Google’s feed

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google-feed

I’ve always been puzzled by Google’s color choices for their links. I mean, I love its minimal simplicity and similarity to an html page void of css, but the dark blue link colors and the purple visited colors have left me confused many times.

Let me explain.

Ever since I could articulate words and wield a pencil, I wanted to be a comic book artist. Through out grade school and high school I drew ferociously. In high school I began taking “Computer Art” classes and fell in love with graphic design. I went on to study this in college, where I also began studying html and css.

All the while I tried to avoid chats that would eventually lead me to admitting that I was color blind. I remember sitting in the hall with teachers in 1st grade guessing crayon colors. I remember illustrating a women that made my wife (girlfriend at the time) ask why her skin was green. Some stuff just gets mixed up. When I compare colors side by side I can always see the difference, but’s it when they’re small or isolated.

I’m better now, after taking color theory classes, and really focusing, but it still gets me everyday. Tans and greens, greens and reds, blues and purples, and really funky colors? Forget about it.

So let’s look at Googles link colors. Here’s an image with two boxes, one is their active link color, the other is their visited link color:

google-font-colors

OK, cool. Blue and purple. Right? I can see it. It gets interesting when we flip this image to grayscale.

google-font-colors-bw

Tonally, they are way too close. Maybe 2% darkness?

Honestly, I’ve re-clicked already visited links way too many times while Googling and I know I’m not the only one. This post is one example of addressing accessibility while designing or the web. If I were to wake up one day and see the contrast has improved in Googles feed, I’d be a happy dude.

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