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Color Theory and Contrast Ratios

taught by: Christopher Schmitt

Session Summary:

By examining how colors can fail their intended design goals in our sites and apps, we can learn how to better design for people with low or problematic vision.


Color creates a massive impact on how we tell users about our brands and products. Selecting the colors that reflect that is tough, but also making sure they are working is also essential.

After reviewing the foundations of color theory, how colors can harmonize, color schemes that reflect themes or ideas, Christopher explores the problems with working on digital color.

By examining how sites popular brands use color, we will discuss how colors fail their intended goals as well as for people with low or problematic vision. We will review rules and guidelines that help ensure our colors are visible and provide the proper intent to our customers.

Practical Skills:

  • Understand how popular sites are using color effectively from the splashy homepages to the working utilities such as body copy, navigation links, and more.
  • Understand how color changes and adapts for users in different situations - in the browser and outside of the browser.
  • Learn what the guidelines are for defining colors for people with disabilities.


General working knowledge of web design, development