Roon GUI creates a few problems for the color-blind

This hasn’t been a huge issue for me until recently, but I might as well mention it, since I won’t be the only one affected.

I’m heavily red-green color blind. About 5% of the male population is. There are a few GUI decisions in Roon that inadvertently cause huge problems.

First, a minor one. Sometimes (very rarely) the “go back to previous page” back-arrow in the upper left fades into oblivion against a light background. I can always find it by blindly waving the cursor around though.

Second, a reasonably major one. The three different colors chosen to signify audio fidelity in the playback stream are (I believe) purple, yellow, and green. For me (MS200 as endpoint) I’m usually purple, unless I’m playing .mp3 in which case I’m either yellow or green – couldn’t begin to tell you which. This is a tough one – assuming you don’t want ‘white’ (a blank button), and black (since it would look like a large dot), it’s actually tough to find three different color choices that work for the afflicted. A blue or purple works (got it), and then something light and sunny (got it), but the 3rd color needs to change into something significantly darker than the current yellow or green, way lighter than black (so no reds, browns, dk greys, etc), yet it can’t be blue, as that is often indistinguishable from purple. Would have to see a few choices “in the flesh” to give feedback.

The fairly serious one, which I just became aware of recently, was that there is red text used somewhere in Roon, and that it (if I recall) signifies something important. :smile:

Anyway, I had a concerted look-see in my collection, and was finally (barely) able to ascertain that some of the text may (or may not – hard to tell) be red, as opposed to black. This is really torturous for color-blind readers, as the smaller the swatch of color (and with text we’re talking lines, so it can’t get any smaller), the harder it is to differentiate. The red alternate-color text needs to be changed to something much, much lighter than black (no red, purple, dk blue, brown, dk grey, dk green, etc), yet still be readable and not ugly. A medium blue or grey might work, or maybe a medium/light green or orange (I’d have to see).

None of this is killing me at the moment, but if you’ve got ~200 posters here, then there should be about 8-10 of us in the same boat…

OK – back to your regularly scheduled programming.

I am a lurker still but, even without yet using Roon, I second this petition as I am another who is similarly afflicted. In fact, I have rejected using a few components because I could not assess the state of an important red/green LED indicator.

Another 5-percenter.

Yikes, any ideas on how we can get designers on our team without colorblindness to know what is hard to see and what is fine?

@danny - I think I can speak for all of ‘us’ – the above 2 fixes would probably solve the problem.

Not the end of the world – you’ve got bigger fish to fry at the moment. :smile:

PS – I’m available at an exorbitant fee for color consultation…

These links should help you.

I am also red-green colorblind. I wasn’t even aware that there are two colors for quality other than the blue/purple (can’t tell which it is) nor any red text anywhere. I’d be happy to test or whatever if that’s necessary to make the interface more colorblind-friendly.

Depending on what’s involved, rather than selecting particular colours, it may be simpler to toggle Roon into a “colour neutral” mode where information is conveyed by text and emphasised by font changes or underlining rather than colour.

While it’s a legitimate issue, I think we’re in danger of over-complicating this.

Certainly 2 quick color changes (as suggested above) seems likely to solve the problem – has to be simpler than coming up with an alternative platform.

Here’s some possibilities. Below is a collage showing (starting upper-left, then going clockwise) a listing of possible alternative text colors to red, Roon’s violet, Roon’s green(?), ‘yellow’ as seen in my RTI Integration Pro pgm, ‘blue’ as seen in same, and then (lower-left) the entire grid of color-choices from the same RTI program.

The text colors in the upper-left are (from top to bottom) black, blue, orange, teal, blue-grey, grey 50%, pale blue, and black again at the bottom.

For text, the blue, orange, and grey 50% work well for me as alternatives to red. Any of them in a pinch, though.

For the 3rd color in Roon’s audio signal chain system, we’ve got (from my p.o.v.) a light washed-out purple, and what looks like a dull orange or green to me. So I guess I haven’t seen Roon’s 3rd color (yellow?) as my hardware setup doesn’t allow it. Anyway, can’t use the nice sunny yellow I show in the lower-right, as I assume that’s close to Roon’s 3rd color. The blue (bottom-center) works well, as it’s so much darker and more vibrant that Roon’s purple. Any of the colors in the top row (bottom left of collage) would work – they are (from left to right) black, brown, dk olive green, dk green, dk teal, dk blue, indigo, and dk grey. They all look pretty much black to me, but that doesn’t matter in this case.

@tiohn @mitr – what are your thoughts?

@danny – you can collect some comments here, at your leisure, then throw us a copy/paste of your final choices and let us chime in?

I greatly prefer the recommendation from @andybob and would go so far as to just make the text explicit, like “good”, “better”, “best” or whatever.

Jumping in late, but I, too, am horribly color blind and struggle with a few areas of Roon. In general the UX is awesome.

For me, context is important to color recognition. I pretty much see blue, yellow, brown and gray (many colors that are not those four, but appear to be). That being said, blue on it’s own (like the apparently ‘puprle’ indicator) doesn’t register as blue. I have no idea what it is. So three colors, even if they are distinct, don’t tell me anything.

So I’m with @andybob and @tiohn…a text (or symbol) indicator is much more effective in communicating important information that a color.

Hope the input helps. Roon is a huge advance in UX, with just a few color issues to address.

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