Motobene's Color-Based Simplified Section Marking System

Discussion in 'Trials' started by motobene, Oct 17, 2018.

  1. motobene

    motobene Motoing for 46 years

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    Guys and gals, I need some feedback on one element of a marking system design I've been evolving for years and testing and refining in regional 2-day events.

    I need more feedback from more people having some form and severity of the following color-vision deficiencies:

    Color Impairment Types.JPG
    Color Impairment Percentages and Types.JPG
    Anomolous.JPG
    Please bear in mind that one problem regarding design for color-vision deficiencies by a normal vision person is inconsistency in the many charts on the web about how colors are seen by those having the deficiencies. Perhaps that arises from the difficulty of describing what people cannot see well or never have seen?

    The colors in question follow. I've had limited colors to choose from in high quality 4" X 5" flags and have worked hard to select and order them in such a way as to still have a workable system. I know I'm close but I could use a little more feedback.

    I hope there are no two colors that are indistinguishable. The problematic colors are often istinguishable by shade and intensity differences. Ambiguity should be less, not more, out in strong light with actual flags, so an on-screen view for a test should be pretty good.

    Let me know if any of you have trouble distinguishing between any of the following colors. Please name the colors you have problems with and try to describe what you see. Identify your specific color-vision deficiency too.

    I'd rather the feedback be here, in public, thanks, but if you don't want to go public you can PM me.

    Flag System Colors.jpg

    Please don't sidetrack this part of the thread into non-color-related issues. You'll get your chance to critique the broader system later when I publish the system here in the form of a multi page document with lots of illustrations.

    The system has been real world tested in two regional 2-day events. This latest version will be tested in another 2-day event, this time 10 & 11 November, HPTA, at Buffalo Dream Ranch in Southwest Oklahoma.

    If I need to change or rearrange some colors I want to do that before I publish the document and before this upcoming event.
    #1
  2. fprintf

    fprintf Been here awhile

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    No issues seeing any of these colors. I would also add that some colors may have different visibility levels on a non-white background (e.g. bare rocks, moss covered rocks, leaves, trees/logs.)

    edit: and no color deficiencies at all in my eyesight.
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  3. motobene

    motobene Motoing for 46 years

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    Thank you. Do you have any color-vision deficiency?

    One parameter for color choice was visibility against darker backgrounds. It's why I'm not using black. We tried black flags in a 2-day event and found them not quite the best as a top-line color.
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  4. NMTrailboss

    NMTrailboss Team Dead End

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    I don't have any color vision deficiencies and I don't have any issues seeing any of these colors but I remember we used white for section ribbon several years ago for awhile and it was difficult to see many times against the light colored soil and rock at San Ysidro and sometimes Roswell...and forget it if it snowed! I was glad when we went back to the standard red and blue for sections. Not sure how the white flags would show on that type of terrain. :dunno
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  5. motobene

    motobene Motoing for 46 years

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    White perimeter tape is quite popular in some parts of the country. Not so much NM for the reason you cited (plus snow!).

    My system identifies sections when there are multiple events by perimeter tape color/shade only. One event may have yellow caution tape while another event on the same loop might have orange, blue, etc.

    We used orange perimeter tape for a recent HPTA gate trial and I was like, hmm. Worked good! And having loop marking tape, start and end flags, and section perimeter tape all in orange is a slick idea.

    With one guy marking the loop, sticking start and end flags approximately in place, all in one color, orange, is simple.

    Add to that orange section perimeter tape as a default choice for single-event competitions and everything but gate flags is orange.

    For the longer wavelength color-vision deficient might turn all the orange into some yellowish brown like fall leaves. That could compromise visibility for the few. That's why I want to get more feedback from those few.

    Perimeter tape color is often driven by what a club has a lot of. Gazillion rolls of blue? Use that. Red or yellow caution tape?

    I have some preference for the caution tapes because they are wide, stretchy, and very cheap. The writing on them - whatever it is (CAUTION -ZOMBIES) - doesn't matter. It just makes the tape more visible.
    #5
  6. Gordy

    Gordy SUPPORTER

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    I recently heard of a new club that will be using big colored stick-on dots to designate the class that the rider will be riding. It sounds brilliant. You go to the sign up table and they give you an appropriate stickie for your headlight and/or number plate. Saves having to take off our headlights and it saves Beta owners from re-positioning all of their electrics.

    This sounds like it would fit perfect with a colored gate system. :dunno
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  7. rokhopr

    rokhopr 2015 Beta 250 Factory

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    I am red-green color blind and events that use blue\red boundary ribbons (NM) are a pain for me since I can't see the red ribbon in the green grass. At Sipapu, NM this year I took the front wheel about 18" over the red border in a turn and never even knew I rode out of bounds until the judge pointed it out and appropriately punched a 5. I'll also typically break the red ribbon at least once an event while walking the sections because I don't see it well at all.

    I can see all the colors on the suggested flags but would like to see that the flag size is large (4"x5" not 2"x3") and optionally have another color of either stripes or wording to provide some offset from most backgrounds. The green flag with a green grass background could be a problem like the white only with snow or SanY colored rocks.


    [​IMG] Flags.JPG

    I've ridden one event using the solid colored flag system and had no real issues. The benefit comes to those that are doing the work setting things up as the flags are easy to set and easy to change reducing gate setup time by probably 40% and I'm all for anything that reduces the labor time of those who volunteer their time (and money) to setup events.

    Our club sections are all rides and we have 6 lines (3 morning and 3 afternoon) what other color would you suggest for that scenario? I recently rode with TrialsInc and STRA and they both use all ride sections and had 6 lines as well.
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  8. motobene

    motobene Motoing for 46 years

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    Great suggestions, rockhopr. I'm with you on the 4X5 flags. That's what I'm using.

    It sounds like you have a more severe form of red-green deficiency where a red ribbon laying on green grass just fades out. How well do you see orange such as the orange start and end flags? I know that's tough to answer because you may not see orange like most do. The Post Reply button of this forum is white text on orange. Does the white text stand out well for you?

    The five colors of my system cover six lines because the easiest line doesn't need any marking.

    In split-day formats my system uses the same flags. Blue is always the hardest line. In the case of 3 morning and 3 afternoon lines you minimally need blue and white for each event as the lowest line, again, doesn't need marking. But since you have only 3 lines it's still very simple if you those top three colors for both events.

    When you use the same color hierarchy regardless of event level, and for multiple-event weekends. People quickly learn fast to identify harder and easier lines. No confusion of trying to match named classes to colors. Don't do that, tempting as it may be!

    Identify the which sections go with what event with perimeter ribbon color only. No text is required on start markers. Morning perimeter tape can be blue, and afternoon afternoon in white or yellow. It doesn't matter which color other that what works and what you already have a lot of.

    Those flags with stripes accord with design principles for color-vision deficiencies by mixing patterns with color. Adding text is also suggested. But I am trying to work a system down to a bare minimum, to maximum stupid friendliness.

    Every system should evolve. IIwant additions like striped or other printed-on flags to come in only when for-sure proven as required.

    The most critical practical consideration in a color-only system is distinguishing between the gates colors.
    #8
  9. motobene

    motobene Motoing for 46 years

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    Gordy, right on with color stickers! I used for Sooner Cup 2016 with an early color system using printed cards (Ack! So much work!). We put a color dot on the score cards and almost put them on the number plates too.

    NATC does it with number plate color. For clubs maybe just a verbal "yellow line" would do? But yes, the stick-on color dots would allow whatever number plate or light without having to get verbal.

    I will publish the system soon. Once folks get a color system based on flags that's well designed, I think cards and blah blah in sections will go bye bye. The labor reduction is really significant and the visibility is really good.

    I'm hoping, however, this trend won't go off in 17 directions like class names have. Since I am blessed (or cursed) with a brain for systems design, maybe my years of work can have this arrow release in a more coherent direction?
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  10. motobene

    motobene Motoing for 46 years

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    I missed a few details on the first read of your feedback, rockhopr. White flags on snow, and green flags against grass. Hmm. Not good.

    Maybe mixing in some pattern flags is a great enabler, thanks, as some of these colors have these kinds of potential issues. I'll research them.
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  11. Gordy

    Gordy SUPPORTER

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    I really do like this idea for when guys go to different clubs to ride and that club wants a class on the number plate it becomes a PITA for the riders to adapt to the clubs classes.

    Keep up the fight Chris!
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  12. lineaway

    lineaway Long timer

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    It`s only a PITA if you ride an event.:imaposer



    :hide
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  13. markbxr400

    markbxr400 Been here awhile

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    Might be some stereotyping to do with Blue being hardest and Pink being easiest, especially a sport that seeks to attract both genders. Just sayin' . . .
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  14. Gordy

    Gordy SUPPORTER

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    Hey!!! I’m getting psyched up just reading this. I’m almost ready.
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  15. lineaway

    lineaway Long timer

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    Colorado, what in March?
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  16. motobene

    motobene Motoing for 46 years

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    Sometimes all it takes is a comment from someone for something to click in a design project. It's easy to get into a tunnel when working alone and I was close to being stuck. Rockhopr's comments have opened up new options for 4" X 5" flags!

    New approach 1 is to get rid of the two problem colors, white and green, by introducing two flags with patterns, in this case stripes. But only two striped flags inter-spaced between solid colors to avoid too visually busy.

    Flag System Colors 2.jpg

    New approach #2 is see if a manufacturer will make flags I design specifically for trials gates. Color, pattern, and maybe a small line ref number like 1 for top line and 5 for bottom line. Or letters. A being highest, B next highest, and so on. No class names, but one could say, "I'm riding the C line in the morning event."

    I'll keep working this!
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  17. motobene

    motobene Motoing for 46 years

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    Since one theme is simplification.... Above was written "3 morning and 3 afternoon classes." Two events per day. The HPTA model simplifies so many things to reduce volunteer burnout. We work less and ride more!

    We don't use non-riding checkers. We ride in small groups with one rider assigned to carry the cards and punch them. I used to hate self or group checking, but I've mellowed a lot and now actually prefer it. I can still concentrate on my own ride while socializing with members of the group.

    Everyone rides so there in only one event per day. This halves the number of sections required. We even build our sections the day before the event in small groups that go out and pick a section to build. An event can be built in a couple of hours, ridden, then it takes no more than 1 hours for groups to tear down everything. Nice!
    #17
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  18. Gordy

    Gordy SUPPORTER

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    That might be too soon. If I can stall a little longer I can retire unnoticed like James Stewart did. :rofl
    (Only without the world championships). JK, I plan on going to SY in a few weeks.
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  19. wheelieman14

    wheelieman14 Adventurer

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    motobene, I admire your determination to simplify marking and building sections. Maybe I'm missing something, but is there an easy way to determine which direction is the intended direction of flow; without going "backwards" through a gate split? Currently, we use colored ribbon tied around trees to indicate a gate marker is attached & it's up for the rider to determine correct direction without going backwards through a gate or missing it altogether. I've ridden several local events recently where they didn't mark which spots had gate markers and impatient riders that didn't properly walk the section ahead of time weren't very pleased when they got their "5".
    #19
  20. Norman Foley

    Norman Foley Devotee of the Husqvarna

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    Simplest way to show which way to ride the sections, especially when all riders ride the same line... one color on right and a different color on the left (red and blue here at the Scott Trial). Multiple lines, means double the colors though and then it gets complicated!
    [​IMG]
    #20
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