Importance of Color in Web Design
It Don’t Mean a Thing Without Correct Palette and Schemes
When considering a website design or redesign, don’t forget about color. Choosing the appropriate color palette and schemes is one of the most important — and yet often overlooked — elements of website design.
Studies show people make a subconscious judgment about a website within 90 seconds and up to 90% of that assessment is based on color. There is a color psychology wherein color influences perceptions that are not obvious but evoke certain emotions and reactions.
Not just decoration
Web designers don’t simply “decorate” websites but instead make smart design decisions based on the psychology of color. Thus, it’s important for stakeholders to forgo gut feelings or personal color preferences. The choice of color impacts the overall brand message and has the ability to influence a web user in such a way that he or she stays on the website longer. Here’s why:
Emotion and tone
Emotional marketing works because people often make decisions based on feelings. Colors tap a variety of emotions from comfort and warmth to hostility and anger. Different schemes and shadings can lend to meanings such as content, culture, location, and tone. For example:
- White: purity, cleanliness, innocence
- Black: death, luxury, sophistication
- Red: emergency, passion, romance
- Orange: safety, confidence, friendliness
- Yellow: caution, sunshine, warmth, happiness
- Green: environmental, nature, finance, jealousy
- Blue: peace, serenity, sadness
- Purple: royalty, wealth
- Brown: natural, earthy
Target different audiences
In general, warm colors (red, orange and yellow) are energetic and work well for alerts, urgency and calls to action. They can also be seen as aggressive. Cool colors (blue, green, purple) are peaceful, calming, and tranquil. They bring to mind water, lush surroundings and night.
Using appropriate colors for a specific target audience and actions is important. While one color may drive traffic, the same color could push users away. For example, a very colorful site with red, yellow and blue attracts a younger user while the same bright colors may cause eye fatigue in older visitors.
These colors are often best for these target audiences and actions:
- Red: Younger audiences, call to action, urgency, medical/healthcare industry
- Orange: Construction, technical and food industries, promoting creativity and safety
- Yellow: Cheerfulness and leisure, often used as an accent color
- Green: Natural foods and products, recreation
- Blue: Larger institutions, banks and manufactures use this color to invoke trust (Blue Cross Blue Shield, Chase Bank, Ford, General Electric)
- Purple: Female audiences, beauty products, religious organizations
Be visually pleasing
Websites are often the first impression for any business. Thus, it’s important to look good. Websites that employ a minimal color palette can also be effective in highlighting specific areas and creating focus toward actions.
Keep in mind that color psychology also involves factors like white space and strategic placement of colors as well. And just because a color would be attractive to a specific target audience doesn’t mean the website design should be saturated in it.
The balance to create visual harmony is called the “60-30-10 rule”: A primary color dominates 60% of the area; a secondary color covers 30% of the visual field; and an accent color finishes the remaining 10%.
Using complementary, analogous or monochromatic colors in web design conveys strong meanings that impact memory retention. This is especially important because brands want to be remembered by consumers. Thus, it’s vital to devote time to getting logo and website colors right in order to stand out from the competition. In fact, a study by the University of Loyola, Maryland, shows that color increases brand recognition by up to 80%.
Ready to design?
Designing (or redesigning) your business website doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Here are 10 steps to get you started and 5 key elements to consider as you move forward. Need more assistance? Contact us for a free consultation. Share your goals with the T.E. Digital team and we’ll help you get there.