The psychology of color in web design PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 08 July 2010 13:02

The emotion of colors

Color by virtue of its tremendous expressive qualities is one of the most effective tools in advertisements and presentations. Web design is no exception in this regard. Psychologists have found out that color impression can account for 60% of the acceptance or rejection of that product or service.

Here's a brief elucidation on varying dimensions of color.

There is a high degree of universality in the implicit meaning of color across cultures and geographies

Name something Green, people will refer to trees, name something blue, people will mean water. People generally associate colors with where each color is predominantly found, regardless of cultures and regions.

Here's a description of the symbolic significance and potential uses of common colors.


Symbolizes : Passion, fire, love, lust, war, violence, blood, and aggression

Potential Uses : Where the aim is to motivate an individual to initiate action, convey a warning, or stop the user.

When using different shades of red on a website, exercise caution Bright red can be quite irritating if used over large areas.


Symbolizes: Calming, cute, candy, soft romantic, and feminine

Potential Uses: When you want strike on a user's caring or romantic side.


Symbolizes: Vibrancy and warmth. It is like a less passionate red.

Potential Uses: Recommended for food sites, nature sites.

Orange is good in moderation. Over-use should be avoided.


Symbolizes: Sunshine, caution, happy, cheerful, warmth, hope, light, energy, weakness or illness, or symbolize cowardice.

Potential Uses: To make a webpage brighter and more spring-like.

Like red, it catches attention swiftly, but can be an irritant if over-used.


Symbolizes: Spring, renewal, fertility, wealth, inexperience, health

Potential Uses: Excellent color option for websites about money and growing.


Symbolizes: Sky, sea, intelligence, reassurance, also depression and sadness.

Potential Uses: To give a website formal look and feel.


Symbolizes: Creativity, spiritual and mysterious.

Potential Uses: Best for spiritual sites, expressing romantic tenor


Symbolizes: Power, elegance, and sophistication, death (Western context), evil, anger and sadness.

Potential Uses: Be on the safe side, never use over a wide area.


Symbolizes: Cleanliness, purity, and spirituality. It symbolizes life and marriage in Western cultures, but it is symptomatic of death in Eastern cultures.

Potential Uses: Great as an accent or background color because it makes other colors seem more vivid and bold

How to make color scheme work for you

Keep it simple . A color palette using three or fewer overall colors contributes to the clarity of a web page.

Use white space . White space does a balancing act for colors, lets the design breathe and makes a large site feel less complex.

Be consistent . Consistency in colors (i.e. links, menu items, instructions etc.) allows your audience to instinctively know where to look for information.

Know your audience. Before you set the ball rolling in design, you should be convinced enough what colors the audience would find compelling and right for your product.

Choose the right temperature of colors . The perception of your site is affected by your choice of warm or cool colors. Cool colors are water and sky colors like blue and purple; warm colors are red, orange and yellow. The temperature of a color affects how your message is likely to be perceived. SALE written in red will be perceived as more vibrant and urgent than soft purple text.

Let color contrast distinguish significant parts of your site.

Contrast between text and its background is essential for legibility. Dark text on a white background, for instance, is more legible than orange text on a red background. Different elements on your web page (i.e. the menu and body of the page) must contrast or they will begin blending together.

Color lesson: A well-considered color scheme can transform an okay website into a great web site

Color is one of the most important yet not-so-thoroughly understood elements of web design today. Whether web designers appreciate it or ignore it, visitors to a site respond to colors and other visual elements on the site on a psychological level, and will continue to do so.

Color affects the emotion of the audience, and emotion, in the process, drives decision-making. An intrigued visitor is more likely to be engaged in your site -- whether it is meant to inform, entertain, or to sell products or services or ideas.

But if the colors are unsuitable, or outrageous, or not in line with the underlying symbolism, the visitors can outrightly reject the site--and the products as well--no matter how good they are. So, picking colors on your website carefully can transform your site, and of course, your business too.

Last Updated ( Friday, 26 November 2010 10:02 )

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