1.4.1 Use of Color (Level A)

Color shouldn’t be used as the only visual way to convey information or make an indication.

What you need to know

  • This success criterion aims to eliminate any circumstances where color alone is used to convey information, make an indication or prompt the user, or distinguish between visual elements. This error is present much more than you might think.
  • Color is a common vehicle for enhancing the visual appeal of a website, but there are a lot of users who can’t discern or otherwise tell the difference between one color and another.

What you need to do

  • Identify ways your website conveys information by color and make sure there are other ways to acquire the same information.
  • If your website has a red button that is used to, for example, to cancel an order, your instructions should make clear that the button labeled “cancel” is the one to click on.


Read the full explanation of success criterion 1.4.1 on

Related Resource

Check out “Ensuring that information conveyed by color differences is also available in text” from W3C’s Web Accessibility Initiative for more information about this success criterion.