Using Color to Improve Your Website Design

How does the color blue or green make you feel? Safe, calm, peaceful? It might if it were the color scheme of the website you just visited.

As website design goals attempt to influence customer behavior, more and more designers are looking to the psychology of color to help them create websites.

There’s no shortage of studies touting the effects color plays on our moods and behavior. Similar principles of color psychology are being deployed by marketing strategists with regard to website planning and marketing, with the potential to influence customer buying and decision-making habits.

So is it actually true? Can you really use particular colors to enhance your customers’ moods, influence clicks, establish brand recognition or sway purchasing habits? shutterstock_92900206 (1)

According to Entrepreneur.com, a study by Satyendra Singh determined that a customer forms an opinion about a product in just 90 seconds, and as much as 90% of snap judgments made about products can be based on color alone.

Of course, there is no right color for a button or conversion text, but testing has revealed that bright primary and secondary call to action colors (red, green, orange, yellow) have higher conversion rates, while darker colors like black, dark gray, brown, and purple have lower conversion rates.

If your business’ market reach is primarily of one gender, then you might have a leading edge in your web and campaign designs. According to Entrepreneur.com, women don’t like gray, orange or brown, but they do like blue, purple and green. And men don’t like purple, orange or brown, but they do like blue, green and black.

Jared Christopherson, in a Mashable.com article, suggests companies use the 60-30-10 rule when designing a website. By choosing three different colors and using them in the ratio of 60, 30 and 10 percent, a professional color scheme for your brand can be achieved.

With the 60-30-10 rule, (background, base and accent colors, respectively), make the accent color your boldest color and use it to guide customers to take a particular action. Use it in your call-to-action button, on your hyperlinks or in other places where you want your customer to do something specific. Don’t overuse the accent color,  however, or you will defeat its purpose of drawing attention to a specific action. Decide what your most desired action is, and use your accent colors to accentuate that action.

Below is a list of website colors and the emotions and feelings each is thought to elicit. The trick is to think about your customer and what type of feeling they would like to be experiencing when surfing your site or after purchasing your product or service. With a specific feeling in mind, match it to any of the colors in the chart below, and make those colors either your background, base, or accent color of your site.

Color Mood or emotion evoked
Yellow Fun and friendly. Cheerful, attention-getter, associated with liveliness and energy.
Orange Energetic warmth and ambition. New beginnings, enthusiasm, creativity. Can create a sense of haste or impulse. Sometimes, orange is interpreted as cheap.
Red The most emotionally intense of all colors. Boldness, love, life. Don’t overuse as it can portray warning.
Green Most intuitive color. Nature and organic. Easy on the eye. Associated with safety, optimism, growth, harmony, wealth, luck, and stress relief. The color of outdoors, eco-friendly, the environment. If the focus of your website has anything to do with nature, environment, organic, or outdoors, green should be your color of choice.
Blue Most commonly used. Trust and loyalty. Tranquility, depth, honor, productivity. Decreases one’s appetite. Calls to mind feelings of calmness and serenity. It often is described as peaceful, tranquil, secure, and orderly.
Purple Royalty, nobility, power, wealth, spirituality
Pink Femininity, love, tenderness, romance. Produces a calming effect.
Brown Solid, dependable, confident, conventional and sophisticated
Grey Conservative, traditional, serious
Black Authority, sophistication and elegance. Mysterious. Gives a sense of luxury, value, elegance, sophistication, and power. If you are selling high-value luxury consumer items on your website, black probably would be a good choice.
White Purity, cleanliness, sterility, youth. Used for negative space in design.

In the end, the main thing is that when beginning a new website or branding project, think about who your target audience is. Take time to consider the color meanings and how colors might affect your viewers. What kind of emotion do you want your visitors or customers to feel, and look for colors that might evoke that feeling.

Finally, color is powerful. It influences not only how people feel, but also what they do. The psychology of color can help strengthen your brand, encourage actions, soothe and calm emotions and even guide visitors toward specific pages or actions on your website.

If used properly, color can be extremely beneficial to your marketing success.

Is it time to update your website? Deppe Communications can help. Contact us today for information and an estimate.

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