It seems to me that the color difference to indicate whether a question has an accepted answer in the question listings on many sites may be too subtle, and indeed may be IMPOSSIBLE to decipher for those who may be color blind.

A suggestion may be to use the SAME check mark indicator used within a single question on the listing itself. This way the presence or lack there of would be the indicator.

enter image description here

Most Color Blind don't have a problem deciphering black from white, so if the check mark was kept black on a white background, it would be quite visible to all.

  • 1
    I vote that we switch the way "answered" questions and "answered with accept" questions are. Since the check mark is green, the answer count should get the green box when an answer is accepted, and we can change the color of the number if there's an upvoted answer.
    – gobernador
    Commented Jul 17, 2012 at 22:25
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    Oh, and by the way, which site in particular did you think was hard for colorblind people? I volunteer to test this theory, being colorblind.
    – gobernador
    Commented Jul 17, 2012 at 22:26
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    @gobernador - Any seem somewhat difficult. There are differing types of color blindness too, some may be difficult other not for differing color blindness. Thats why I am suggesting simply a separate (even somewhat small) icon (like the check mark) instead of colors on colors text. Commented Jul 17, 2012 at 22:29
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    I'm not a fan of how the answered vs answer accepted visual cues are currently on SO and SF. But I feel your suggestion adds more visual noise. Ideally, accepted answers should have the green background, not accept should not have one. This is how it is on all the other SE sites.
    – Jin
    Commented Jul 25, 2012 at 0:17
  • @Jin - This was just a potential suggestion to get some other ideas :-) Commented Jul 25, 2012 at 1:15
  • related for the mobile website Commented Mar 10, 2013 at 20:20

4 Answers 4


After performing some tests on three SE websites using Colorblind Web Page Filter, this is what I get :


The last 3 lines are what color-blind individuals approximately see. The ones with Tritanopia can't distinguish Yellow from White (See StackOverflow x Tritan). Programmers answer mark fails for all types.

It's clear that UX style is the winner.

  • 4
    You need to compare accepted & unaccepted across each colorblindness.
    – nneonneo
    Commented Mar 10, 2013 at 20:26
  • How fitting that UX has one of the best user experiences in this regard...
    – gobernador
    Commented Jul 17, 2013 at 21:43

Here's my proposed prototype for Stack Overflow.

enter image description here

The second question has an answer, but no accept. The third one has an accepted answer.

  • I like it +1, I am going to see if a couple other answers come in :-) Commented Jul 17, 2012 at 22:46
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    I was reviewing the color blindness classification and your proposal is great, at first glance, appears to work for all :) +1
    – Zuul
    Commented Jul 17, 2012 at 22:58
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    This was totally how I thought it worked for my first 3-5 days on the site, but then I realized it wasn't this way. Totally +1
    – ajax333221
    Commented Jul 18, 2012 at 0:55
  • This is exactly how it looks on mobile, much clearer.
    – jrturton
    Commented Jul 18, 2012 at 5:42
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    this looks like the change I once implemented then rolled back due to complaints.
    – Jin
    Commented Jul 24, 2012 at 23:31
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    Oh well, so much for that. Green boxes on questions without an accepted answer never made much sense to me.
    – user102937
    Commented Jul 24, 2012 at 23:33
  • @RobertHarvey that's not to say I won't move cheese again... There are a lot of things on SO that could be improved, aesthetically and UX wise.
    – Jin
    Commented Jul 24, 2012 at 23:36
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    @Jin I agreed with your changes: using similar colors to differentiate state is bad. Commented Aug 21, 2012 at 3:03

I think that a nice box for "unaccepted" would work, too (image "stolen" from Robert Harvey):

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    I think there is no need to add more borders, you can already distinguish "0 answers" in red from "X answers" in green. Imagine a list of 20 questions, with answers, full of boxes... not very smooth. Commented Mar 12, 2013 at 12:15

I like the solution which was suggested in the question.

I often don't remember which color or background color means that the question has an accepted answer and which doesn't. I don't think that users should remember this information. It's a little bit awkward that I have to check a question whether it has an accepted answer or not*, note the result and go back to the question list...

Optionally, it could be enabled/disabled in the user profile.

(*) or wait for the tooltip which does not exist on questions which do not have accapeted answers.

  • Enabling it in the user profile means having two page designs hence twice as many problems.
    – yo'
    Commented Mar 10, 2013 at 22:10

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