User Interfaces for Picking and Mixing Colors

Creating the perfect interface for mixing colors reveals hidden complications

What color is halfway between yellow and blue? If you answered green, you’d be wrong: well, you’d be right in one way, if we’re talking about paint, but you’d be wrong in many other ways, including the way many computers interpret colors. If that sounds complicated, it’s nothing compared to what the team at FiftyThree had to go through to build the color mixer for their iPad app, Paper. Turns out there are many many different ways to interpolate colors, and none of them are quite how we experience reality. Highlight: The team actually found a method that reflected real life too closely, and had to take a different approach from there.