I'm red-green color blind and I work as a Product Designer at Quora. My color blindness is on the stronger side (~1% of all men instead of a more common kind that affects about 5%).
My short answer for this is that in the grand scheme of things, making a color choice between a green and brown is the kind of decision we make rarely enough that you can ask for help and it really isn't a big deal.
Make no mistake, it is a handicap, but for me a minor one. I do wonder what it's like to be, for example, a fashion designer or interior designer, where you're making a lot more color decisions. I'd imagine it would be harder.When people first find out, I often get a "You're a color blind designer, WHAT?!" reaction. My usual response is two part:
- Color blindness is really hard to describe if you don't have it. My closest experience to not being color blind is wearing EnChroma glasses, through which I can distinguish between green and brown, as well as see red as a much stronger color than I do otherwise. It was while wearing those that I first understood why a red dress is such a powerful image. My reaction to most of the spectrum, with the exception of red, green, and brown is like anyone else's.
- Most of the time, I'm using a color from a palette that we've already agreed upon. Sometimes, we have a problem for which I'd have to create a palette. I usually know when I'm getting close to a color I'm weak with and just ask for help.
- I have to be more disciplined with color, and rely on systems and patterns more. This helps ensure consistency.
- I represent 5% of the male population within a design team, so 2.5% of potential users. I can tell the other designers when we make something that is not color blind friendly. I once took over a webpage which was full of a brown text that to me seemed closer to red and really "popped" as if everything was calling out for attention in red. For 95% of people, this was "meh, doesn't matter, we could've picked any of these colors and we'd be fine" but for a small minority, it was a really janky experience.My favorite story about this is that Facebook is blue because Mark Zuckerberg is red-green colorblind and just didn't want to deal with it. Nobody's really complaining about it ten years down the line.
That's really the gist of it. To answer the last point, yeah, I've generally made it pretty clear upfront when looking for jobs that I'm color blind, and most good employers start out asking if it has affected my work in the past.
An immediately negative reaction is usually a sign of incomplete understanding of how color blindness works.
I'm really curious to hear if there are color blind designers in fashion, interior, or graphic design and how this affects their work.This question originally appeared on Quora. Ask a question, get a great answer. Learn from experts and access insider knowledge. You can follow Quora on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+. More questions: