Making the Status Circles accessible to colorblind individuals


i find the adjustments to the check circle with check box, little red flag, and sometimes three dots in the middle of the circle really confusing to look at, and frankly a bit of a muddle. but really, i believe this is all the more argument for user customisation. some OF users are ardent adherents of GTD, others do it in a sort of good-willed but half-hearted way, others have developed their own way of working to suit themselves, completely eschewing david allen’s methods. all i think are valid uses of OF. i’m with boldfish on the first point: theme / styling options (like OO4) - for me even if it’s just standard text styling options for now: bold, italic etc. but i would LOVE colour.

but i can’t support a ‘you must do GTD with omnifocus’ approach.


This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.


We added that flag because people reminded us that indicating something by color alone (as we did with the orange on the status circle for flagged, which was often combined with the red of overdue) makes it inaccessible to a lot of folks who have limited color vision. It may also help the rest of us when we’re in a bit of a hurry and may not look too closely.

So perhaps it is redundant, but it’s deliberate.


I like the concept, but I think the execution could be tweaked.

Rather than having the ‘ghost’ highlight at the point of hover over anywhere in the action, could it be tweaked so the ghost image only appears when hovering over the check circle?


The colorblind issue actually isn’t true if you also vary the saturation levels between colors (the current best practice for color blind accessibility). Add a different gradient per color, and you have two non-hue cues. Both would solve the problem without causing all that visual noise with the flag. If you are wedded to the flag, you should go back to the old design of discreet check boxes and flags.


I have to say this new flag is a MAJOR improvement for me. I found the slight color change in the circle to be a totally unhelpful way to show if something is flagged. It was too hard to read easily. It didn’t simply say “I’m flagged”, which is, needless to say, the purpose of a flag. Of course, that’s just my opinion. YMMV.

Anyway, I’m really happy it’s there.

Different strokes …


I’m not against the flag, in general, but it is incongruent with the circle, making it very distracting. Either it needs to be placed in its own space or the icons for both need to change to be more cohesive so it easy to notice when you look for it, but not drawing so much attention when doing other things in the app.


I was shocked by the flag, don’t like it. No doubt I’ll get used to it. I loved the original design of OF2 enough to drop OF1 completely, now I’m thinking about going back to OF1, where I had a nicely tuned attractive theme.



I liked the purity of the plain coloured circle but I can understand Omni’s reasoning though (my partner is colour blind and put on a black shirt this morning thinking it was red!). It would be nice to have a preference setting for colour blind people specifically that could switch such visual clues on or off. I’ll email …

Edit: It’s worth pointing out that such flags don’t exist in OF2 for iPhone. Yet …


I too liked the purity, understand the need for visual clues, but the little flag looks odd… why not just make the click to flag target area which changes color on hover, stay “on” for flagged items.



Anyone else noticing the target area for the click to flag area showing a hover state permanently?


usually when scrolling down a large list tasks below the fold sometimes appear with the hover highlight on…

(have emailed Omni, just checking with everyone else, in case it’s just me…)


I noticed that too. I can’t figure out if it’s a bug or a feature. I thought maybe it was representing that another action within the project is flagged, but it doesn’t seem to be the case.


I really like this idea. This option could please people wanting a clean layout along with those who want it to stand out more.

Currently, I could go either way. I haven’t really made a decision. If it’s Due/Flagged, seeing Due Soon next to the circle helps an item due stand out if the flag icon wasn’t there. Seeing the Flag icon makes the flagged items stand out. My opinion changes based on which Project or Perspective I’m viewing.


having played a bit more it seems that if you scroll the page with the cursor over the tasks the highlight comes on, but doesn’t always turn off.

scrolling with the cursor outside of the task area doesn’t cause the issue.


That is rather insightful. Thanks for sharing that.


I moved some new threads about the flags to this one to keep the conversation consolidated. I also flagged some posts that were not "disagreeing agreeably” as laid out in the community guidelines.

If the authors edit their posts to fix the issues, the posts will automatically become visible.


Sorry but I think the flags add a lot of noise to the current design by being incongruent with the circles. You should really think about a better approach to make it more accessible to people who are color blind.

Update: You could just use a dot instead of a flag there. Would fit much better to the circle.


Thanks for listening and adding the additional visual flag, that makes a big difference for me. Its much more intuitive now and the flag does its job and makes those flagged items stand out from the rest.


I kind of understand the idea behind adding the flag icon. It makes the meaning of the orange circle more obvious and it gives you a target to click to flag an item when the inspector is hidden. That said, I find the flag redundant and distracting. Even worse is the the translucent rectangle that pops up NE of the circle when you hover over an entry with the cursor. My eyes keep drifting to the right end of the window rather than staying focused on the title and context of the entries where I want them to be focused.

Please consider re-thinking this feature or at least give the user the option of going back to the old clean design of a single color-coded circle.


I think that’s a great idea. First thing I thought of myself when I hovered over a flagged item… :-)