Color 101: What does Your Online Color Scheme Say to Customers?

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This topic “Color 101” comes from Philip A. Provins.

Color 101: What does Your Online Color Scheme Say to Customers?

Not sure? You’ve been designing web pages with blue because it’s your favorite color? Hmm, you might want to rethink your tactics. Why? “The Internet is the ultimate visual and psychological medium.”1 The content you write is, of course, a major component, as is the design itself. What about color? It’s often what people notice first. Color conveys meaning and mood. It’s important to know your market well enough to ensure that “the psychological message you are trying to get across with the rest of your site design” is Fcomplemented and enhanced by the appropriate color scheme.”1 If you’re still tempted to keep using blue because it’s your favorite color check out this statistic – according to psychologists “color impression can account for up to 60% of the acceptance or rejection of a product or service.”2 Wow.

Begin with Basic Color Psychology

The culture and country you live in, previous experiences with different colors, good and bad memories; all of these factor into a persons’ response to colors. Yet, there are some general statements about color that will hold true a lot of the time. What you want to do is select colors that enhance the mood or message you’re trying to convey. For instance, if you’re trying to portray calmness and harmony you probably shouldn’t go with red hues. Green would be a better choice. Think of red, orange, and yellow as”exciting” colors and purple, blue, and green as “calming” colors.”2

Colors and their Associated Feelings (United States)2

Red: excitement, strength, passion, speed, boldness, determination, desire, courage
Yellow: warmth, sunshine, happiness, comfort, energy
Blue: trust, reliability, belonging, loyalty, professionalism (popular color for businesses.)
Orange: playfulness, warmth, vibrant, enthusiasm, creativity
Green: nature, fresh, cool, growth, abundance, harmony
Pink: soft, sweet, security
Purple: royal, spirituality, dignity, nobility, luxury, elegance

White: pure, clean, youthful, innocence, simplicity

Black: sophistication, formality, seductive, mystery
Gold: prestige, expensive, elite
Silver: prestige, cold, scientific

Test Your Color Choices

You should test your site with different color schemes. Track which colors lead to the most conversions. As you know, McDonalds uses red and yellow. “They did intensive research before determining that those were the colors that would attract the eye. Bright colors like this encourage diners to eat and leave quickly.”2

What do you want to say with your online color scheme?

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