The Psychology of Color In Web Design
Color plays an important role in our lives; there’s just no getting away from them. Our personal and cultural associations affect our experience of color and as any good website design agency will tell you, the psychology of color as it relates to people’s purchasing decisions is one of the most interesting aspects of marketing and web design.
Encouraging visitors to take a particular action will largely depend on how you make them feel, and how you make them feel will be influenced by the colors you use.
During recent studies, it was established that 90% of snap judgements made about products were based on color alone. In addition, the relationship of the color to the brand it is used for also affects how we feel about the product being sold. i.e. does the color ‘fit’ with what is being sold. If it doesn’t, then we’re unlikely to purchase the product, or trust the brand that’s selling it.
Image Source: Pixabay
Our brains prefer recognizable brands, which makes color vitally important when creating a brand identity. When designing a logo or for a website it’s important to try to predict consumer reaction to the color, and whether it ‘fits’ with the brand or product you’re designing for. For example, using bright pink for a corporate bank is unlikely to reassure customers that they’re serious and can be trusted.
Color can cause actual psychological changes to take place in human beings; this is known as chromodynamics. People react instinctively to certain colours – blue rooms feel cooler than those painted in warm orange or yellow, and athletes who are shown the color red before an event act with greater speed and energy.
Colors are generally seen as either warm or cool, mainly because of long held and almost universal associations. The colors we see can be broken down into three main groups:
Primary colors – colors in their own right
Secondary colors – colors made by mixing primary colors together
Tertiary colors – colours made by mixing primary and secondary colors
Black is the color of power, stylish and timeless. Black can also appear evil or bad; villains often wear black.
White has modern appeal and is associated with purity and innocence, it is light and neutral but can also seem sterile and possibly lead to boredom.
Red reduces analytical thinking and can make it hard to think. It’s the most emotionally intense color and is the color of love. As an extreme color it may invoke anger or confrontation.
Research has linked green with broader thinking and creative thought. Green symbolizes nature, it’s fresh, calming and relaxing. Dark green is masculine and denotes wealth.
Whilst these are commonly used color representations, you should not limit yourself to these suggestions. As a web designer you should choose colors that represent your businesses personality the best.
Logos are the most frequently displayed and repeated symbol of any business. Failure to understand the science behind color may mean you give customers the wrong impression of your business.