Here's a table from the standard to help you figure out which viewing category fits the system's intended purpose.


Basic Decision Making (BDM)

Analytical Decision Making (ADM)


15:1 Minimum Contrast Ratio

The viewer can make basic decisions from the displayed image. Images and text are legible to the extent that basic decisions can be made

Decisions based on content itself, not resolution of detail Non-analytical viewing

The viewer is actively engaged with the content (e.g., information displays, presentations containing text and images, classrooms, boardrooms, multi-purpose rooms, product illustrations).


50:1 Minimum Contrast Ratio

The viewer can make critical decisions with the ability to analyze details within the displayed image.

The viewer is analytical and fully engaged with the content’s details. This category requires that the finest detail available in an image is evident down to one line pair (e.g., art history classrooms, medical imaging, architectural/engineering drawings, forensic evidence, image inspection).

Communication Level Basic information is retained Line-pair level detail in image not required Analyze (fine) detail to make critical decisions Line-pair detail in image is required
 Description Ability to discern elements that are a certain percentage of the overall image height, relative to viewing distance· Ability to absorb information within time constraints Based on visual acuity to discern a line pair Placing as much information on the screen as possible and be able to discern all of the intended detail Ability to view analytical material for extended period of time Ability to view analytical material for extended period of time Comfort not a significant factor
 Environment Typical office environment, meeting rooms, classrooms Unpredictable ambient light Possible task lighting Highly controlled environment Controlled ambient light Focused task lighting No ambient light directly affecting screen, black-out window treatments


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