Using red and green

Use symbols as well as colour

If you are using red to signal “warning,” or “caution,” and green to signal “approval” or “correctness” consider adding a symbol to make sure colour-blind users can still understand the message.

Example of how to use colour and symbols to improve accessibility

An example of filling in an online form, with red and a cross used to show a field has been filled incorrectly, and green and a tick to show something has been filled correctly.

Traffic lights use red and green, but the position of the lights communicates “stop” or “go”, even if the colours cannot be seen.

Example of how traffic lights convey meaning through colour and position

Normal vision

Traffic lights seen by people with normal vision, with red, amber and green lights.

Appearance for someone with red-green colour-blindness

Traffic lights seen by people with red-green colourblindness, where all the lights appear in shades of yellow.

Colour should never be the only method of communication

When the use of red and green is unavoidable, for example, RAG (red, amber, green) ratings, make sure that colour is not the only method of communication.

Consider representing RAG ratings in the same way as the previous examples, with a secondary method of communication.

Example of RAG ratings using colour and symbols or position to communicate meaning

An example of a red, amber, green rating, using numbers to display colours.