SSMRecolor: improving recoloring tools with situation-specific models of color differentiation

David R. Flatla, Carl Gutwin

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

    20 Citations (Scopus)


    Color is commonly used to convey information in digital environments, but colors can be difficult to distinguish for many users - either because of a congenital color vision deficiency (CVD), or because of situation-induced CVDs such as wearing colored glasses or working in sunlight. Tools intended to improve color differentiability (recoloring tools) exist, but these all use abstract models of only a few types of congenital CVD; if the user's color problems have a different cause, existing recolorers can perform poorly. We have developed a recoloring tool (SSMRecolor) based on the idea of situation-specific modeling - in which we build a performance-based model of a particular user in their specific environment, and use that model to drive the recoloring process. SSMRecolor covers a much wider range of CVDs, including acquired and situational deficiencies. We evaluated SSMRecolor and two existing tools in a controlled study of people's color-matching performance in several environmental conditions. The study included participants with and without congenital CVD. Our results show both accuracy and response time in color-matching tasks were significantly better with SSMRecolor. This work demonstrates the value of a situation-specific approach to recoloring, and shows that this technique can substantially improve the usability of color displays for users of all types.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationCHI '12 Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
    Place of PublicationNew York, USA
    PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
    Number of pages10
    ISBN (Print)9781450310154
    Publication statusPublished - 5 May 2012
    Event30th ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI 2012 - Austin, TX, United States
    Duration: 5 May 201210 May 2012


    Conference30th ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI 2012
    Country/TerritoryUnited States
    CityAustin, TX


    • Accessibility
    • Color
    • Color vision deficiency
    • Recoloring

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Human-Computer Interaction
    • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design
    • Software


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