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Re: Using color to distinguish a visual element


From: Oscar DeLong
Date: Dec 9, 2008 7:00AM

My vision is fine, I distinguish between colors just fine but I still
look for links to be underlined. I get extremely frustrated if I find
someone has changed the links and they are not underlined. I personally
believe that all link should be underlined unless, as someone has
already mentioned, they are in a clearly defined navigation box or
location. I do not believe color with hover text is sufficient.
Besides people change the color of text all the time and that does not
always signify a link therefore I would not consider color a definitive
marker for a link.


Oscar DeLong
Access Services/Reference Librarian
Ottenheimer Library
Pulaski Technical College
3000 West Scenic Drive
North Little Rock, AR 72118
(501) 812-2718

-----Original Message-----
[mailto: <EMAIL REMOVED> ] On Behalf Of Angela Colter
Sent: Monday, December 08, 2008 1:17PM
Subject: [WebAIM] Using color to distinguish a visual element

I'm in the middle of conducting an accessibility review on a nonprofit's
Web site using WCAG 2.0 guidelines, and I'd like some opinions regarding
whether a component passes or fails a guideline.

The site uses hyperlinks that are styled blue, but not underlined (or
bold or anything else that distinguishes text from links.) However, the
site DOES include a hover state for links. When you mouse over a link,
the underline appears.

Guideline 1.4.1 states that to pass, "Color is not used as the only
visual means of conveying information, indicating an action, prompting a
response, or distinguishing a visual element."

So here's my question: Is the hover state enough to qualify as a
distinguishing visual element? Frankly, I don't think so. If you assumed
all the blue on the page is just text, or don't notice the difference
between blue and black text, you might not bother to mouse over and
trigger the hover state.

What do you think?

Angela Colter
Senior Usability Specialist