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The Importance of Color Psychology in Web Design

While we may not be thinking about it, the color of the things we see affects our emotions. Color is a powerful communication tool and can be used to signal someone to take an action, incite physiological reactions, and even influence your mood. And in web design, we see how color is as important or even more than the written content or other various web design elements. 

But there is a psychology behind color in that your hypothalamus sees a color then send signals to your adrenal glands that, in turn, signal the release of hormones. These hormones can cause fluctuations in your mood, influence emotion, or cause a resulting behavior. 

So choosing the right color can help you not only aesthetically look put together, but also cause people to engage and take action on your site. Simply put,

What is Color Psychology? 

Many of us see many colors throughout our day, but do we ever think about how those colors influence our emotions, thoughts and actions? What color psychology looks at is how colors influence our behavior. 

This could be anything from what compelled to make us a purchase, to why we choose some brands over another, and if you are more likely to click on a button if it is a certain color. But understanding color meanings is not as easy as it sounds, since the same color can have different meanings depending on your background, gender, values, and a ton of other factors

That’s why our focus will mainly look at how Color Psychology affects users when it comes to your website. We will look at how various colors incite emotions and lead a user to take action when it comes to clickable items on your site. 

We are going to dive into the colors of the rainbow to help you grasp the overarching themes of a color, and help you see what color(s) would be the best fit for you based on your brand and emotions you want to incite in your clients: 

Red 

Red is usually to capture one’s attention. The color red can also be associated with excitement, passion, danger, or action. A lot of companies will use the color red for a button, such as “Order Now”  to not only draw people’s eyes to the button but for them to take action. Also, red can be used to encourage one’s appetite. Red in color psychology is the most intense color and as a result can produce strong emotions. So if you want to encourage one to click on something or their appetite then you will want to use the color red. 

Orange 

Orange is a mix of yellow and red, so it is considered an energetic color. Orange is known to draw attention in such things as advertising, since it is attention-getting in that it excites people. 

Otherwise, orange can be used to signal caution since orange tends to be associated with traffic signs. But in web design, orange is usually used to draw one’s attention to a client’s call-to-action button and other content you are wanting to catch one’s eye

If you want to make your company to convey cheerfulness and confidence, you will want to incorporate orange into your logo or web design.

Yellow 

Yellow is bright like the sun can be some days. Yellow can quickly grab one's attention  because it is usually bright and intense, but it can also bring out intense emotions, such as frustration, complexity, warmth, and a high sense of energy. 

The color yellow can also help people who visit your website to associate your brand with something positive. For instance, brands like Ferrari and Ikea use yellow to incite happiness and optimism in their customers. Keep in mind that you will want to use yellow sparingly, since it can be hard to read and be straining to one’s eyes. And, if you are wanting to draw someone’s attention to a certain item on your site, yellow is a great choice of color to do so. 

Green 

Green as a color tends to be associated with nature and money. Also, green can act as a calming and balancing color. On the flip side, green can convey a feeling of envy. Green overall as a color can be quite peaceful and positive. As for web design though, you will want to use the color green if you are wanting to promote a sense of health, wealth, and serenity

Blue 

Blue is often associated with tranquility and trust, so many big name brands such as Facebook, Walmart and Oreo use the color of blue in their branding to promote a sense of stability and reliability among customers. At the same time, blue can carry some negative, colder color meanings, such as sadness and distance/aloofness. However when it comes to your website design, the color blue can be used to make users of your site feel a sense of security and reliability when it comes to your brand

Purple 

Purple as a color tends to be associated with wealth, wisdom, and creativity. Also, the color purple tends to stimulate our minds and encourages intense contemplation. On the other hand, purple can cause feelings of frustration, and if overused, purple can be perceived as arrogant. Purple also has the possibility to look gross and tacky if not used correctly. 

But purple, if used sparingly in your logo, top navigation, or icons, can help a user take action or better find what they are searching for. Purple is also a great color to use for beauty, healing, or feminine brands

Pink 

The color pink is a nurturing and compassionate color. It is also a non-threatening color so it calms and reassures a customer or viewer. Pink is also a color geared more towards females. 

Brands such as Victoria’s Secret and Barbie use pink to highlight key messaging in their branding and marketing. Something else you will want to keep in mind that pink may not be appealing to all females, so using other colors such as blue, purple, and green can improve your appeal if you run an e-commerce site. Ultimately, pink in web design creates a sense of reassurance and calmness in users.

 

Grey/White 

Grey and white as colors create a sense of calmness and neutralization. White as a color conveys fairness and equality, while grey conveys neutrality and balance. For instance, Apple uses grey in their branding so no one is put off by the color of their laptop. And healthcare companies use white in their branding to show a sense of safety and cleanliness. Together, white and grey create a clean and neutral look when used in branding and web design.

 

Why using Color Psychology is Critical

Color Psychology is crucial for your company because color evokes emotion, and incites people to take action. Choosing the color(s) you want to use in your branding is critical, because this can help you portray your brand in the way you want to. 

Also, the choice of colors you use within your brand can help a user or consumer better understand the information you are trying to convey to them. You will also want to consider other factors when choosing your color scheme, such as whether your messaging match with an appropriate color shade, your color(s) will need to encourage your target audience to take action, and keeping consistent with your color scheme is crucial for brand recognition and rising above your competitors. 

So when you are new into the marketplace or a business marketing new products, you will want to consider the impact color(s) have on a buyer’s decision. Research has shown if you use a color correctly this increases your brand recognition by 80% and that 93% affects the buyer’s decision, and a further 85% of consumers buy because of color

Keep in mind that your audience associates certain colors with feelings, experiences, or memories. And while the meaning of one color may differ from one person to the next, for the majority of users they will see certain colors such as red signaling urgency such as a stop sign, and green signaling excitement like when you get a stoplight that is green. In having an understanding of color psychology, you will be able to better convey the actions you want your audience to take. 

Where Should You Use Color?

Finding when, where and what color you should use when you are designing your website can be quite overwhelming. 

First, you will want to find out what emotions and actions you will want to convey to your audience. 

Next, you will want to know when is appropriate to use a color, such as are you wanting to signal someone to take action or feel a certain way about your brand or product you are selling. 

Then, you will want to see where you should use color, so you have a balanced and slick site. Looking at your site as a representation of your company, from your employees to our values, you will want a color scheme of your site to encompass all of those things, especially the audience you serve. 

Keeping in mind, 62 to 90 percent of people will make a subconscious decision about an environment or product within 90 seconds of initially viewing your site. You will also want to make sure your color scheme has similar color hues, transition smoothly from one color to the next, and that the colors go well together. 

You will also only want to use color carefully in hero graphics, headlines, borders, backgrounds, buttons, and popups, because these are key areas where you will want to target your audience. 

 

How To Match Your Branding With Your Business

Finding the colors that fits your brand requires figuring out what works and what does not.

Since color is a crucial component to your overall company brand. Using color(s) to incite a certain emotion or action in your customers is a way you can instantly connect to your customer’s heart. But, do keep in mind your brand’s colors have the ability to impact your company’s growth and sales more than the products you offer

By using repetition of the same color to boost your brand awareness across your site, as well as on social media platforms. And you will also want to  use your branding colors for advertisements, storefront, and staff uniforms because using the same colors in all your business ventures will strengthen your brand’s association with those colors. 

While choosing the right colors for your company is not an easy feat, you will want to know your focus, think psychologically, not be afraid to experiment, and break down what your competition is doing. 

Don’t forget, the feelings and perceptions of the colors you use for your branding fits with your company’s story and aesthetic. Lastly, matching your branding to your business’ site is all about experimenting and putting yourself in your potential customer’s shoes so you can better understand your company’s mission and audience. 

 

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