Color is such a fundamental part of the way we perceive the world that we often take it for granted. Think about it: From the youthful and vivid orange on someone’s attire to the gray and gloomy sky above us, colors have the power to mold our perceptions of others and even the circumstances we find ourselves in.
This is why one of the most powerful tools in a designer’s arsenal is color. It can either make or break a design; it can be the determining factor in engaging viewers or sending them promptly on their way.
A skilled designer understands the importance of evaluating a color scheme based on the brand, the meanings of the colors, and the products or services being promoted.
Good color choices take careful planning.
They can influence how a visitor interprets what they see as much as a site’s layout and typography — and, when done well, they can have a positive impact on each visitor’s evaluation of the brand as a whole.
Why Is Your Color Scheme So Important?
Before we jump into the process of selecting a color scheme for your site, it’s important to understand exactly why your website color scheme matters so much.
After all, you might be thinking that it’s the content that really matters. And that’s not untrue.
People love content. They’re drawn to fresh voices and enticing information, but you have to capture their attention first. That’s where website color palettes come into play.
Colors can stimulate the emotions of many people. Check out the following color psychology figure below to see some of the impressions traditionally associated with colors
Color Psychology and Color-Emotion Associations
Research shows that light and color can affect our mood, sleep, heart rate, and even our well-being. An interesting example can be seen in our daily lives: blue and green light (e.g the nature and sky) encourage us to wake up in the morning. This is why many doctors and scientists recommend against using our mobile devices before going to bed as the screen’s light keeps us awake and can even cause insomnia.
Considering that there is a vast amount of possible color mixtures that can be created, it might be difficult to determine which one will have the greatest influence on a website or app. It would be too complex to examine everything, but there are a few tricks and related trends on how color affects users’ attitudes and behavior.
A well-considered color palette can upgrade a design from good to great, while a mediocre or lousy color palette can lessen users’ overall experience and even intervene with their ability to use a site or app properly.
Depending on their age, gender, and the impulsivity of their actions, users have different reactions to colors and shades. Although color preferences are not universal, there are universal differences between genders’ preference in some colors over others. Also, color preferences can depend on the age. In the following sections, I will discuss color preferences depending on age, gender, and how they can be perceived differently in various cultures.
When marketing your business, it is necessary to know who your target audience is, in order to tailor your marketing efforts accordingly. When researching users and their demographics, age is an element that should be examined carefully. Your target audience’s age influences their perception of marketing materials, especially considering that color taste and preference varies based on age.
Gender differences: Men vs Women
s there a difference between genders with regard to their response to color? Although findings are ambiguous, various studies continue to indicate that men and women have varying preferences when it comes to masculine and feminine colors choices. Research on color perception indicates that men favor bright, contrasting colors, while women prefer softer shades. Both men and women like blue and green, but many women adore purple while this color repels men.
Besides age and gender, one more factor that influences our color preferences is our cultural background. For instance, in most Western cultures, the color white is linked with aspiration, innocence, chastity, and hope. But in parts of Asia, white is associated with bad luck, death, and mourning.
It’s crucial for those involved with web and user experience design to look at the cultural connotations of the color palettes based on the relevant target audience for the website or product. For instance, designers can pay less attention to the implications the chosen palette may have in other cultures when the product is primarily targeting a particular culture. To prevent negative cultural connotations, for products that target a global audience, a balance between the colors and imagery is required.
The 60-30-10 rule
The 60-30-10 rule is a theory that is widely used for making color palettes that are aesthetically pleasing and adequately balanced. The purpose is that one color, usually something rather neutral makes up 60% of the palette. An additional supplementary color makes up 30% of the palette. And then a third color is used as an accent for the rest 10% of the design. This approach makes it much simpler for designers to set up the trial and error with original or uncommon color palettes without going too much beyond the anticipated norms within a business brand or industry. Choosing a set of some uncommon hue can lift the aesthetics and design. Additionally, it can be the first move toward generating a brand palette that is much more progressive than the one of its competitors, thereby setting the brand apart, making it more distinguished and remarkable.
Color psychology & visual hierarchy for UX
When it comes to setting a brand apart from others, the brand’s choice of color is a fundamental element that reinforces both its personality and the qualities of the products or services it offers.
Also, one of the vital roles of color in the field of marketing, user experience, and behavioral design is using it to influence where people look. If users don’t look at your navigational system, your product won’t be usable. In digital psychology, one of the fundamental skills you need to master is the art of controlling where your users look. In most design work, we control user attention by increasing and decreasing the salience of visual design elements.
Impact of color on conversion rates
Okay, let’s delve into the exciting stuff, the psychology of colors in business and the colors that increase the purchase rate. In other words, the colors that sell. How can we use color theory and psychology to get people to click on a button? What colors are really going to boost the conversion rates and improve the bottom line?
There’s always been a debate between conversion rate optimization experts, arguing whether the color red is more eye-catching color for a button, or green because that means “go.” There are plenty of A/B test results that show how a change in the color of a CTA button made a drastic impact on signups. HubSpot shared the following famous test from their early days when they were known as Performable:
Even though Hubspot initially estimated the green button would lead to a higher conversion rate and perform better, the red button outperformed by 21% more clicks.
The bad news is that there isn’t a magical color that consistently performs best for all websites. However, there are some general rules that can help you use color to your advantage. You might think that all you have to do is choose a website color palette and move forward full steam ahead. That’s not the best way to go about business. Think about it. You test your CTAs, headlines, and other website elements. Why should color be any different? A website behavior analysis tool like Crazy Egg offers the perfect opportunity to figure out how your audience responds to your current color palette.
Here at Switch we work with clients to ensure that their products and services are designed with the target audience in mind, and therefore implementing color and design elements that lead to the highest conversion rate.
Your website color palette should not only reflect your brand, but also appeal to your audience. Otherwise, people might be turned off by your site without even realizing it.
Start with what you like. Consider choosing a palette that’s different from others in your niche so you stand out. Then begin testing.
It’s easy to change the colors on your site. If you know HTML, you can alter the HEX codes in your theme files manually. Many WordPress themes also come with customizers that allow you to change colors without knowing any code. Give yourself the opportunity to make your site as visually appealing and memorable as possible.
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