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How to make figures and presentations that are friendly to c o l o r b l i n d people. Masataka Okabe and Kei Ito with special thanks to Cahir O’Kane. Type 1 ( protanopes ) and Type 2 ( deuteranopes ) : functional defects in red and green cone cells, respectively.

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How to make figures and presentations that are friendly tocolorblind people

Masataka Okabe and Kei Ito

with special thanks to

Cahir O’Kane

slide2

Type 1 (protanopes) and Type 2 (deuteranopes):

functional defects in red and green cone cells, respectively.

How common is color blindness?

One in twelvemales (8%) and one in 200females (0.5%) are red-green color blind.

(Asian: 5%, French and Scandinavian : >10%)

People with defects in blue cone cells (type 3: tritanopes) are relatively rare (one in tens of thousands.)

Red-green color blindness is commoner than AB blood group. There should be around 10 color blind people in the room with 250 people !

slide3

protanope

(redcone cells defective)

deuteranope

(green cone cells defective)

tritanope

(blue cone cells defective)

Can color blind people see colors?

Do they see everything black and white?

non color blind

Color blindnessisnot a total loss of color vision.

Butcertain ranges of colors are hard to distinguish.

Color blind simulator: VisCheck (http://vischeck.com)

slide4

Types of color blinds

protanope

dichromacy

deuteranope

dichromacy

1%

1%

anomalous

trichromacy

anomaloustrichromacy

tritanope

0.001%

1%

5%

non color blind

92%

slide5

protanope (red)

deuteranope (green)

tritanope (blue)

How can you see this color ? (common question ;-)

A typical confocal picture

  • Double-staining with
  • redandgreensignals.
  • Not understandable for color blind people !

Let’s simulate how color blind people see this.

slide6

Another problem: recognition of double positive cannot distinguish light yellow from green

protanope

deuteranope

tritanope

This appears like…

slide7

Not good. Then…

1. Presentgrayscale pictures of each channel.

2. Don’t use red. Use magenta (purple) instead.

How can you make double staining understandable both for color blind and for non-color blind people ?

slide8

red-green double staining

In magenta-green pictures, double positive area becomes white.

magenta-green double staining

How to convert red channel to magenta?

Let’s try with Photoshop.

slide9

original

red channel

�-1

select all

�-A

copy

�-C

blue channel

�-3

paste

�-V

all channel

�-~ or �-0

How to convert red channel to magenta?

REVIEW

Just type “� - 1AC3V~” !

slide10

protanope

deuteranope

tritanope

“Single labeling should be OK !”

not so...

Some colors are very difficult to see.

(especially red pictures for protanopes.)

slide11

when printed

  • Pure green and red are out of gamut (printable color range).
  • Subtle gradation will be lost in the published paper.

Monochrome is the best for tonal reproduction !

Even if you don’t care about color blinds...

Can you convey more information by making it color?

If you just want to show what kind of label you used (GFP, Cy3, etc.), a sentence in the figure legend might be enough.

slide12

Show grayscale pictures of each channel.

(when distribution of each signal is interesting)

Show combinations of two channels in green / magenta.

(when spatial correlation between channels is interesting)

How about triple labeling?

Don’t show the combined picture only. Please:

green

blue

red

slide13

2. Fail to see some objects.Dark red or magenta symbols and thin linesover black or dark blue background.

How about characters and drawings?

Four problems that color blind people suffer:

1. Cannot distinguish certain colors.Symbols and lines in:blueand violet;red, orange, yellow, yellow green and green

Non color blinds

Color blinds

3. Difficult to see emphasized parts.Dark red characters in black text.(For protanopes, dark red appears similar to black…)

4. Very difficult to tell the name of colors.“Recognition of color difference” and “identification of color names” are totally different task.

slide14

Colors difficult to distinguish and identify

The border of color-name categories is not the same among people.

slide15

Example of colors that are easier to identify

Red: Avoid pure red (RGB=100,0,0%). Use vermilion(RGB=80,40,0%) or change to orange(RGB=90,60,0%).

Green: Avoid pure green (RGB=0,50,0%), which is confusing with red or brown. Use bluish green(RGB=0,60,50%)

Light green■(RGB=0,100,0%) and yellow ■(RGB=100,100,0%) will appear the same to color blinds. Avoid using colors between yellow and green.

slide16

Good!

Line Drawings

Make lines thicker, symbols larger.

Use various types of lines and symbols.

Avoid separate keys. Add labels within the drawings.

Bad!

slide17

Graphs

Bad!

Good!

Use vivid colors with different brightness.Or, add hatching.

Avoid separate keys. Add labels within the drawings.

slide20

This one is much better.

Lines are thiker.

Line names are shown within the map rather than in separate keys.

Paris subway

slide21

How to make slides and figures?

Do not convey information with color only. Show differences BOTH in color and in shape.“redundant coding”

In addition to color, use the combinations of :- solid and various dotted lines- various hatching- circles, triangles and rectangles- alphabets and numbers - etc.

Keep the number of colors to a minimum.Use combinations of different symbols with a few, vivid colors rather than a single symbol with various colors. v.s.

Keep contrast not only in hue but also inbrightness.

Make it possible to communicatewithout using color name.

First, design figures in gray scale.

Then, add colors as “ornament.”

slide22

Anything else?

1: “Cannot see red laser pointer well…”

Green laser pointer is good for color blind people. The same also for non-color blinds.

2: “Which is that ‘red cell’ you are talking about?”

Avoid indicating objects only by color name.

Describe shapes and positions. Use pointer.

slide23

Useful URLs

1: Color Blind SimulatorVischeckhttp://vischeck.com/ Freeware (Plug-in for NIH Image J: Win, Mac, Unix) Windows (Plug-in for Adobe Photoshop) Online conversion service

Colorfield Insighthttp://www.colorfield.com/

Macintosh (Plug-in for Adobe Photoshop)

2: Green Laser PointerDeHarpporte Trading Companyhttp://store.yahoo.com/deharpport/

3: Download the PDF and PowerPoint files of this presentationhttp://jfly.nibb.ac.jp/html/color_blind

slide24

Conclusion

There are always color blind people among the audience, readers and referees. Please take this into account when preparing your presentations (papers, slides, web pages etc.)

Thank you for your cooperation!

Acknowledgements:

Michina Shiraki, Tomoko Hashimoto, Kazuo Ikeo, Olympus Co. Ltd.(photographs and figures)

Kenji Kitahara and Makiko Ohkido(ophthalmology issue)

Kohei Musha (barrier free trademark)