One of the oversights in software development is vision deficiency. Your handy color-coded design may make it easy for those with good sight to use, but is it just as useful for those with color-blindness? It can be hard for developers to sympathize with vision problems, and some design issues go under the radar.
Fortunately, Google aims to solve that for web development. They’ll soon release a tool that emulates different visual issues so that developers can see what their website looks like through other people’s eyes – literally!
What Does the Tool Do?
The announcement came through Twitter by Mathias Bynens, a developer for Chrome Dev Tools. Alongside the announcement, he released a video that shows the tool in action.
New accessibility feature in @ChromeDevTools: simulate vision deficiencies, including blurred vision & various types of color blindness. 🔥— Mathias Bynens (@mathias) March 10, 2020
Find out how people with vision deficiencies experience your web app, and resolve contrast issues you didn’t even know you had! pic.twitter.com/QKLQmEhhMM
He uses Dev Tools to select different visual problems using a drop-down menu. Selecting one changed the webpage he was on to what someone with that problem would see.
He proves this by showing the number 42 in an image designed to reveal color-blindness. As soon as he activates the emulation, the number “vanishes,” much like what a color-blind person would experience.
This is hot off of the heels of Firefox releasing their own simulator that does the same thing. Hopefully, with so many big-name browsers adopting these tools, we should see more websites adopt designs that are color-blind friendly.
Who Can Use this Tool?
If you’re using Chrome, you already have access to dev tools in general. However, you won’t be able to use the color-blind tool just yet – it’ll arrive in version 82 of the browser.
If you can’t wait that long, you can try this feature today through Chrome Canary. Canary is a nightly build version of Chrome for developers to use, and the vision deficiency tool is live on it. However, its probably best to wait until it releases on Chrome, as Canary may be a little unstable, and the tool may not be as accurate as it should be.
Seeing Websites through New Eyes
It can be hard for developers to design their products around vision deficiencies, as it’s quite hard to sympathize with someone who can’t see certain colors. Fortunately, those days seem to be soon over for web developers. Soon, they’ll have tools in their favorite browsers that will do all the work for them, regardless of how well they can see.
Do you or someone you know have vision problems? If so, do you think these new tools will make the Internet easier to use once web developers have access to them? Let us know below.