The Web Platform
March 7–8, 2016: Training
March 8–10, 2016: Conference
San Francisco, CA

Design accessibly: Color contrast tips and tools

Cathy O Connor (PayPal)
12:00pm–12:30pm Wednesday, 03/09/2016
Average rating: ***..
(3.38, 8 ratings)

Prerequisite knowledge

Attendees should a general understanding of visual-design style guidelines, color codes, and CSS.


Take a look at the UI for your web app or service. If you wear glasses or contacts, take them off. Try to use your app, especially on a small device. You could also turn down the brightness on your laptop or phone or try to use it while sitting farther away from the screen than you typically would.

Can you use your app or service now? Can your customers?

Cathy O’Connor shows why designing with sufficient color contrast is important. Cathy explains the tips and tools you can use to help assess and improve the visual contrast between the content and the background of your app or service. Learn how to improve the usability and readability of your app for differently sighted users and everyone else as well.

Photo of Cathy O Connor

Cathy O Connor


Cathy O’ Connor has worked as a senior web application designer for 15 years in large and small companies. For the past five years, she has been an accessibility subject-matter expert at PayPal. Cathy relishes the challenge of incorporating complex and sometimes conflicting requirements such as compliance, security, globalization, and accessibility to distill and deliver useful, appealing end-to-end experiences for customers. She enjoys coming up with new techniques and strategies to keep accessibility top of mind as product teams rapidly deliver new products in a constantly changing environment.

Comments on this page are now closed.


Sudhindra Rao
03/21/2016 9:11am PDT

Hi Cathy,
I am reaching out to you post our discussion after your great session on accessibility. I was wondering if you can come in to Glooko in Mountain View to deliver a short session on Design and Accessibility and just incorporating Designers into the engineering cycle. Please let me know.

My email address is