Nathan Baldwin

Principal Product Designer

Color and contrast for accessible interfaces

Accessibility is about ensuring people can perceive and operate digital interfaces. For sighted people, this can be a difficult problem to solve. There are a plethora of visual experiences and impairments, and solving for one person’s challenge may adversely affect another’s. In other cases, a solution may not actually help the people it is intended to help. For example, dark mode may seem reasonable for photophobia (light sensitive people). However, high contrast text in dark mode can result in optical glare, making text illegible. The way that we can solve for the complexities of individual visual experience is with color personalization.

In this talk, Nate will discuss the basics of the human visual system, color science, and how they relate to user interfaces. He will use examples from his work creating Adobe Spectrum’s color system in conjunction with their open source color tool, Leonardo.

About Nathan

Nate has been working with generative and accessible color in design systems since 2015. He has a patent in generative color, and has partnered on inclusive and accessible color initiatives for Adobe products for six years. Nate started his career in Fine Art, and found passion in UX design. He is now a Product Designer on Intuit’s Design System team, and the creator of the online resource ColorAndContrast.com.

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