Color blindness, POST diagnostics, and accessibility


I noticed that the POST status indicator LED relies on red and green to distinguish each step’s status. Red/green color blindness (brought on by Deuteranomaly or Protanomaly) affects roughly 8% of males and 0.6% of females.

With a user base of nearly 10%, accommodating for this disability is usually rather simple, and can alleviate stress from a large number of your customers.

I personally cannot distinguish the red and green LEDs, however the difference between the other colors this LED is capable of emitting is rather easy to distinguish.

Is there any chance Framework would be able to account for this disability in its customers by relying on different colors or patterns?

Thank you!

Edit: Covered in a reply below, but one suggestion towards a solution would just be to swap out red for blue. This makes the diag section consistent with the POST section of the test, and eliminates common color blindness conflicts.


If this were to be implemented, what would be the best colors to use? Which are the most different?

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That’s a great question, one I probably should have included an answer to initially.

The post codes table appears to reference 5 colors total.
White - diagnosis start indicator
Red & Green - status indicators
Orange - POST start indicator
Blue & Green - status indicators

There are many possibilities here to make this much more accessible.

One possible approach - Green OR red are the only colors here that would need to change, as in the Protan/Deutan group, they’re the only ones of this set that can be confused. Since it’s only with each other, only one needs to change.

My suggestion would be to change the White and/or Orange indicators into a pattern. One blink of white to indicate the start of the diagnosis section, two fast blinks of white to indicate the start of the POST section. You could then repurpose orange, replacing red with it. Orange will appear as orange or yellow to a protan/deutan, and thus would solve the problem.

There are definitely other solutions, potentially ones better than this idea.


Edit: Actually, this is way more simple. Red isn’t needed at all, just use blue. Keeps the status indicators consistent between tests. Blue and green are very distinct, and should suffice.


May I also add a suggestion if this might be changed - have the flashes go by slower!

Perhaps I’m the only one, but with so many flashes going by so quickly I lost track of which one was red/green. It went by so quickly I couldn’t even write “R” or “G” fast enough without losing track about 8 flashes in.

Again, I seem to be the only one, but in addition to the colour changes you mentioned above, slowing it down a bit would help.


Or add multiple types of input to accommodate the widest variety of people, it’s not inconceivable that those with poor or limited eyesight use computers despite visual being the primary feedback

In addition to blinking lights a tone pattern could emit from the speakers-many OEMs do this

Lots of possible solutions at play here, some more difficult than others

I expect switching the color is a lot simpler than adding a whole new mode of feedback but it’s worth considering


Add a power beep.
It’s not the most straightforward thing as laptops dont have 7 segment displays to display POST code.
for example I remember on Dell devices where 5 short beep mean memory error

The way Framework does the led flashing help rid of unnecessary checks on parts that are indeed working (i.e. battery). But there are problem within such a long string itself.
Maybe, upon POST failure, loop the LED lights until the user turns off the computer by pressing power button just like how they will loop the post beep

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I mentioned this in a direct message to @nrp as something to consider.


@Nommy thanks for the suggestion! We can look at switching the colors for the first part of the boot sequence to red/blue.
This way we can keep red to indicate an error condition which I think may be more universally accepted.

I built a product a long time ago where we designed the UI to support various types of color blindness, but I never realized it impacts such a large percentage of the population!


Hey Kieran!

That would be awesome, and I agree. Blue and Red as Pass/Fail would be perfect.

It is surprisingly common, and surprisingly frustrating at times since Red and Green are very common indicators despite just under 10% of the population having varying degrees of difficulty differentiating them.

Thank you so much for the consideration!