Of late. there have been a few good articles of typography and typography resources like that of ParticleTree. Following the from one links I ended up on the German Fontshop site trying to download some free fonts not available elsewhere.
Not a problem I thought, just use babelfish.altravista.com to translate the web pages on the fly it will be easy. That idea fell at the first hurdle, the preview/select font for download is done in flash. Once I worked out you need to tell the flash application how many CPU’s you intended to use the fonts on (I was greedy I said 2, both Mac & PC), the next thing you had to do was register. Other than having to change my the postcode from 6167 to 12247. I managed to navigate the seven part registration download process without needing any translation (all these pages where HTML and capable of translation) because the process was logical and at the end of each page was two buttons, the one on left in red took you back a step the one on the right in green took you to the next step.
That got me thinking about usability and using colour to convey additional information. As a web designer you are bombarded that you should not use colour to convey information, because around 12% of the population have problems distingushing colours. As such a lot of web designers do not even try to use colour to convey additional information. Which is a shame, because colour is a tool that you can use to make it more intuitive for the remaining 88% of the population.
Just don’t say press the green button to start, otherwise you are not only disadvatanging people with colour deficencies but also users of Safari and Camino because of the way they render buttons. OK that makes it roughly 20% of users can not see coloured buttons, but the other 80% still have a can get the additional contextual information that colour allows. Below the buttons I have also included screen shots from Firefox and Camino.