Use More than Just Colors to Assist Your Survey Takers

Since approximately 2001 the Federal Government has required all surveys and survey proposals for all agencies to use survey software that conforms to Section 508 standards.

Well, what is Section 508, and as web survey creators, why should we care?  Web survey designers must understand this requirement before design begins.

If you've never heard of Section 508 don't worry, you're not the only one! In 2009, there were 13.8 million hits recorded for “Section 508” from Google.

Section 508
 requires when Federal agencies make any information available to its employees electronically that employees with disabilities have access to the same information and data in a way that is comparable to the access non-disabled Federal employees have.  

So how can one create a better survey instrument that also makes participation easier for those who have visual impairments (such as colorblindness or low vision)? 

Easy! Just remember to use primary visual cues that aren't solely based on colors! 

Users with a color deficit see in shades of gray, so for instance, telling participants to Click on the Start button as opposed to the Green Button, or to Click on the Stop button as opposed to the Red Button

A simple change in your survey directions will go a long way towards making your instrument more user-friendly for all who participate!

Green Start ButtonRed Stop Button
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