The color psychology can help strengthen your brand, encourage sales, and even guide visitors toward specific pages or actions on your website.It influences not only how people feel, but what they do.
Color usually depends on our personal experiences and preferences but there are also some universal signals. Individual differences can vary based on gender, age and culture. In a study titled “Impact of color on marketing” researchers found that up to 90% of snap judgments made about products can be based on color alone.
Web designers, mobile app designers, and other people who are out to build strong brands need to understand the color psychology behind impressive designs.
What is color psychology?
Color psychology is a sub-field of behavioral psychology that studies how colors affect human behavior. It focuses on the emotions, attitudes, and values associated with colors.
You’re probably already aware of some basic color psychology, like red meaning danger in western culture, but how we understand color is still mostly subjective. People have personal preferences when it comes to color, usually impacted by our upbringing, experiences and events, and cultural background. Still, there are some common generalities and patterns around how people respond to color, which we’ll explore in this post.
The Psychology of Color on Website Design
- 85% of surveyed consumers state that color is the primary influencer of purchase decisions
- Color increases brand recognition by 80%
- 42% of Online Users base their opinion of a website on overall design alone
- 52% of Online Users do not return to a website due to its bad aesthetics
Many studies have shown how colors stimulate different areas of the brain by promoting excitement or tranquility. With this in mind, your website can easily influence your online users and their conversion rate by grabbing their attention and triggering certain emotions.
The Main Colors of the Web
Let’s look at some of Basic and essential Colors that use on webdesign:
The color white reflects light, so it strains our eyes when looking at it. In business, white implies fairness and equality. The color white is associated with organization and equality.
The color red increases the heartbeat and causes faster breathing. It is an intense and powerful color and as such, shows demand and aggression. Red is also known to stimulate our appetite. In business, red is known as a “call to action” color.
The color pink is a compassionate and nurturing color. It is a non-threatening color that calms and reassures the viewer. It shows love and romance.
The color blue, in lighter shades, has a calming and tranquil effect. Darker shades of blue stimulate the mind into thinking more clearly. But, these darker shades can also create feelings of depression and coldness for some people.
The easiest color on the eye. It has a relaxing effect. This is why, interestingly enough, people who are about to appear on a TV show, wait in a green room so they can relax before their appearance.
The color yellow screams for attention. It is known as the attention grabber! However, yellow is harshest on the eyes and therefore stimulates our emotional side. As a result, if you are going to use yellow as a primary color for your website, make sure you choose the proper shade of yellow so it lifts the viewer’s spirits rather than irritate the emotions!
The color orange is associated with warmth and happiness. It is also known as an uplifting and optimistic color. It promotes conversation and just like the color red, orange stimulates the appetite! In business, orange encourages adventure and confidence.
The color purple is associated with wealth and royalty. This color stimulates our minds and encourages intense contemplation. But, be careful as the wrong shade of purple results in feelings that what we are looking at is gross and cheap.
The color brown is known to be a reflective color. Some people also find it to be a supportive color. Brown is associated with natural or organic things because people think of the earth and nature when they see brown.
The color gray is quite interesting because it is one of the colors that result in no discernible psychological response. However, the lack of color and dullness in gray can be depressing. If the correct shade is not used, gray can have a dampening effect on the colors around it.
The color black is associated with authority and power. Black causes feelings of intimidation and control. In certain contexts, can also seem sophisticated and sleek to its viewers.
Now that you know what emotions colors invoke and how those emotions can enhance your website visitors’ experience.
Color Harmony Basics
- Complementary color schemes use two opposite colors on the color wheel which creates a powerful contrast. Web designers use this scheme to set the background of a website while putting in evidence the content
- Monochromatic color schemes use three different values of the same color
- Analogous color schemes use three adjacent colors on the color wheel. This scheme is often found in nature and it’s pleasant to the eye because they match well therefore creating comfortable designs
- Split complement uses a color and the two adjacent tertiary colors of its complement. This color scheme has a high degree of contrast but not as extreme as the complementary. It creates a sense of harmony
- Triadic color schemes use three evenly spaced colors on the color wheel. This color scheme is considered to be the best because you could use one color for the background while the remaining two can be used to highlight the content and other important areas
- Tetradic color schemes use two complementary pairs. This color scheme works at its best when you choose one color to be the dominant one. When using this scheme, pay attention at the balance between your warm and cool colors
- Focus on the target audience
- Be mindful of the background color as well as the font color
- Color chooser tools can be very helpful
- Don’t use too many colors, usually 2–4 are enough
- Get some inspiration and make some research before your final decision
While the psychology of color is important, keeping it simple goes a long way to earning a customer’s trust and developing brand recognition. A bold, high-contrast website design that follows the basic principles of color theory will always serve you well.
The choice of colors should match the brand and boost its meaning and story.
As a designer, do not restrict yourself to choosing colors simply because an existing logo or artwork has different colors.