Color & Medical Device Control

Color affects humans deeply. Many studies have found certain colors to produce not only emotional responses but also physical responses. For example, a red room can alter the perception that the temperature feels warmer, as opposed to a room painted in cool colors such as blue or green. For designers, this understanding can allow us to use color to create successful products. Take a look at the following blood pressure units.

Both devices are primarily white, which is a popular color choice for a medical device since white conveys cleanliness and purity. However, the devices use different color approaches. The Omron device adds a deep blue to indicate a button for the user. The use of that one color coupled with a grey display screen intuitively signals the place to start. In contrast, the other device’s screen backlight is the only color in an otherwise white color scheme. The user’s eye orientation is guided to the display screen and it rests there. The backlighting color emphasizes the importance of the medical information displayed. In both cases, the use of a simple monochromatic color scheme transmits the clues needed to operate the blood pressure unit without relying on text. The bottom line — we are visual people and color makes a difference.

Which unit conveys the information more effectively? Which one is more understandable to a person who is 75 or older? Does color make a difference?