While most people pay attention to content and flow during the web design process, few take into account the importance of color choices. Human beings are subconsciously affected by the colors they take in from moment to moment.
Following are 5 important things to keep in mind about the psychology of color when designing your website.
- Choose no more than 3 - 5 colors and then use them thematically throughout the website. More than that and you’re taking your visitors through a confusing emotional roller-coaster of color.
- Use colors that are found in nature. For example, green similar to trees or grass; blue similar to sky or ocean; reds, yellows and other colors found in plants and flowers; and other colors found in nature. Bright pinks and fuchsias are harsh and don’t work well.
- For readability, the choice between the background color and the text should contrast well without being distracting. Colors that don’t contrast will just blend right into each other and make it difficult to read. The best choice is black text on a white background, but feel free to experiment with other choices like a gray background with a contrasting text color.
- Keep your demographics in mind when choosing colors. If your site is designed for younger visitors, then more vibrant and exciting colors will work; whereas more conservative colors like whites, grays and browns work better for older visitors.
- Blue has been determined to be the universal safe color choice for most demographics, evoking feelings of peace and calm. Emotions that have been connected with colors include the following:
• Red - Excitement, power, anger, or passion
• Black - Sophistication, mystery, or evil
• Yellow - Joy, happiness, or light
• Green - Life, nature, health, or wealth
So, while flashy graphics and exciting content may be what you think of most while designing your website, an equally important element is how the colors you choose affect the mood of your visitors.