Being an occasional web designer, text styles have been pretty deeply ingrained in me since the days of Netscape, AOL, and Lycos. (Did I just date myself?) I’ll operate on the assumption that for most folks, text styles include 3 or 4 categories: bold, underline, italic, and perhaps color.
When designing online courses, it can be very tempting to use a lot of color to catch your students’ attention, point out important information, and dress up your course content. Unfortunately, even the smallest choices in color can present challenges for students. One of our greatest challenges when designing online courses is designing for “readability.” Readability standards ask that content of your courses be written in clear, precise language that is well structured.
Color blindness is a topic that’s near and dear to my heart. It runs—very strongly—in my family. My mother once told me that, many years ago, my father brought home the ugliest jacket she had ever seen. It was lime green and constructed of shiny satin. (This was in the eighties.) Because my father is