The Role of Colors in Web Design

The Role of Colors in Web Design

Color is a major design element, and using it right can greatly benefit a website in terms of traffic and conversion. But while a business owner may have their own personal favorite color, it does not necessarily follow that it would the best choice for one’s website. This is because of what designers call psychology of color, that is, certain tints and shades as well as combinations can evoke either subtle or strong emotions on visitors, which, in turn, can draw them in or drive them away. And since consumers surfing the Web judge a website in the first few seconds that they enter, it is important that they are attracted to the page as soon as they land.

According to KissMetrics, 93 percent of consumer choice is based on the product’s visual element, with only 6 percent dependent on texture and 1 percent on sound or smell. Also, 85 percent select a product because of its color, and there is an increase of 80 percent in terms of brand recognition based on color.

Color and MarketingColor affects consumer choices

Meaning of Colors

Colors are incorporated with underlying meanings, either because of cultural influence, the emotions tied to them, or their social connotations. Quick Sprout summarizes the meanings of some popular colors in today’s western culture as follows:

  • Blue connotes tranquility and peace, but it can also mean security and integrity.
  • Green means nature or the environment as well as freshness.
  • Yellow may indicate caution, but mostly it is used to show good cheer or energy.
  • Purple is often attached to spirituality, but it also indicates luxury.
  • Pink, which often suggests femininity connotes romance, love, beauty, and also sensitivity.

There are also other meanings such as brown for earth, orange for autumn (or warmth), red for passion or power, and so on. KissMetrics incorporates yellow with optimism and youthfulness, orange with aggression and call to action, green means wealth and relaxation, and red is energy. With these, a resort would likely go for blue (to evoke a sense of peace and relaxation) with a good amount of green (for nature), while a bakery may go for toasty browns and orange hues.

Tints and Shades

Web designers might use colors in their pure form, but might also play with tints (pure color mixed with white) and shades (pure color mixed with black). Pure forms are vibrant and full of energy, tints tend to convey a more peaceful or lighter feeling, while shades tend to make the mood darker.

Thus, websites dedicated to baby products are given sweet, gentle colors; while games like Batman: Arkham Knight have a more sinister feel with their mostly black color.

Complementary and Contrasting Colors

Some colors work well together, while others tend to hurt the eyes. If the latter is the case, visitors would not linger long enough to go through the website’s contents. Also, the use of light on light or dark on dark, e.g., light text on light background, may make it difficult for visitors to read. The right color combination between elements, and between the elements and the background, must be achieved to provide visitors with a pleasant experience.

Of course, color alone does not make the entire website. There are other factors to consider, including load time, layout, navigation, and, of course, content.

Need help in deciding colors and more for your website? Contact us! We are happy to help.

KissMetrics – Color Psychology
Quick Sprout – The Complete Guide to Understand Customer Psychology