Saloni Shah

Color selection is one of the most consequential design decision. It's not just an addition to make the design 'aesthetically pleasing', it is an critical element that adds meaning and depth to the visualizations. The color choices that usually a designer makes is more intuitive, rather than incorporated based on studies of perception and color scales.

The perceptual space of color varies largely in humans and computers as computer colors are linear and symmetrical while the human color perception is non-linear and uneven. Simmon explaining further reflects a study  based on the ways our brains and eyes physically respond to light. He discusses of an efficient method of selecting consistent palette derived from uni-distant numeric values that complement in showcasing patterns and relationships in data.

Simmon elaborately discusses the impact of color palette acting as values. Examples such as '1958 topographic map of Chattanooga, Tennessee' , 'Vegetation Map' and 'Surface temp of dunes' gives an informative imagery perceptions about audience’s preconceptions, cultural associations, layering of information, complementary datasets and color usage. Additionally, he also briefly gives a glimpse of data tools in order to create an ‘ideal’ palette. He discusses the methodology and also gives an overview of tools worth exploring with an additional framework for the construction of the palette. The reading also reflects to a lot of resources for references for everyone.

A thought by which I was provoked the most was the design accessibility. There are braille, sign language acknowledging the special population, but the design world seem to be little unreasonable for the color-blind population. Working in design for seven years now, I never realized the importance of color selection for the special population. With this article, I feel the author has given me a perspective and made me conscious for the consideration of adaptive designs.

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