Choosing The Right Web Color Scheme
We are all visual animals. Web colors affect us in numerous ways, both mentally and physically. With colors you can set a mood, attract attention, or make a statement. You can use color to energize, or to cool down. By selecting the right web color scheme, you can create an ambiance of elegance, warmth or tranquility, or you can convey an image of playful youthfulness. Color can be your most powerful design element if you learn to use it effectively.
Visually appealing web pages need a consistent web color scheme. Without color, a page can lack personality. With a consistent and balanced web color scheme, a page can have a consistent and balanced personality. Too much color, or erratic color, gives a page a confused personality. Let us now dive into the field of optics science.
Of course, designing a web page isn’t easy, this article about web design trends may speed up your web design process.
Basics of web color theory
A thread from Quora clearly illustrated the science behind the choice of colors.
These are colors that are not mixed with other hues. They’re usually incorporated into bright designs. Anything youthful, summery, cheerful, energetic, or ‘cool’ can benefit from using pure colors.
These are colors mixed with white. They convey a lighter, more peaceful, and less energetic feeling than pure colors. They’re also considered more feminine. Companies in the health, spa, and beauty industries could benefit from using these colors.
These are colors mixed with black and are effective in communicating mysterious, dark, evil, or dangerous moods. Shades can work well with gradients when used with either a pure color or lighter shade.
The 60-30-10 Rule
This is a basic rule which is extremely helpful in creating a professional grade web color scheme. The 3-web color scheme is one of the most commonly used amongst web designers. It prevents your web design from getting too cluttered and confusing with too much color usage.
60 – Dominant web color
The dominant, also known as primary, color should cover 60% of the website space, creating an overall unifying design theme. This is mainly used for backgrounds, color blocking and large text areas.
30 – Secondary web color
Secondary colors are usually used for headlines, sidebars, highlighting or text callouts. It should contrast with your dominant color to create a visually striking effect.
10 – Accent web color
When designing for websites and mobile device apps, this 60-30-10 web color rule plays a vital role due to limited above-the-fold space. Hence, it is crucial to know how to balance the web colors on the page to achieve cohesive aesthetics.
Accent web colors are often used to provide final touch of elegance, complementing either your dominant or secondary web color.
Contrast occurs when two or more related elements are displayed differently, the greater the difference, the greater the contrast. A good contrast reduces eyestrain and focuses the user’s attention to the intended content. A rule of thumb would be to complement bright colors with dark ones. For example, black texts on white background or vice versa. Great contrast leaves a good and lasting impression on the user. A skillful use of contrasting elements can help to create strong focal points in your website, directing users to wherever you want them to go. It is important to note that many people are actually color-blind or visually impaired, hence it is crucial to ensure your website color contrast in all your page elements are well adjusted.
An excellent choice of web colors should complement the mood and exhibit the personality of your brand online. For instance, professionalism is often represented by using colder, bolder and cleaner color combinations. It is interesting to see many world class luxury brands using black in their web designs. Black is associated with elegance, sophistication and glamor.
Market researchers and brand managers have used color psychology to influence product engagement. Examples of this in practice include restaurants that are usually red and orange, banks and financial institutions are often blue, while luxury products are typically packaged in black.
Discount/coupon sites tend to utilize bright web color schemes. The web color scheme on Groupon translates into a sense of urgency. Hotel websites usually have a web color scheme of white, blue, black or green because of the symbolic connotations of these colors. Warm colors are also used as they create a comfortable feeling for the visitor.
Does red convert better than green? This is perhaps the most common questions asked when choosing a web color for your call to action. There is in fact no single best color for conversions. Experts explained that users can generally recognize an item if it blatantly sticks out from its surroundings. As such, A/B testing is often deployed to test and identify the magic color of success.
Different colors appeals to different people. Therefore it is very important for you to identify your intended audience and cater the appropriate color scheme which attracts them. If you have a site that is mainly targeted at male visitors, then you will not want to go with a hot pink color scheme, instead you will want to use strong, bold colors. Likewise, pastel blue or pink color theme would be a turnoff for any hipster fashion brand, but would strongly resonate with most baby apparel shoppers.
Cultural differences should also be taken into serious considerations. Color meanings, symbolically and emotionally, can vary widely from culture to culture and person to person. Especially for businesses that intend to go global, be sure to take into cultural differences. For instance, Red would represent love, prosperity and good luck in most countries but it is actually a color of mourning in South Africa. Be sure to check out what the colors you are using mean in your targeted country to avoid making a terrible mistake.
Being able to use web colors consciously and harmoniously can help you create spectacular results. Ultimately, factoring in color theory and psychology, color choices for your website should only be made once the designer has a firm grasp on your target audience and market; geo-targeting/cultural considerations, and brand/product and related guidelines. Similar to meeting a new person the first time, ensure that you choose the right colors that correctly and accurately represent your business. Remember, “First Impression counts. Colors make the world of a difference.”
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