Why Color Matters In Website Design
How much attention should be given to web design colors? When designing a Web site, most web designers give a lot of attention to two major factors: the design (choice of graphics and layout) and the content. But what about color? This is one of the most important things to consider when designing your site. The colors selected for your web design are important because they will shape the emotions and responses of your visitors as well as reflect your identity and image branding. Smart color choices can help to motivate potential customers.
One color can convey a variety of moods and feelings depending on its context. A single color can have more than one meaning. Color is often used as symbolism. However, relying on stereotypical color associations may limit your creativity in using color in web design. For example, consider the color red. It's the color of anger and danger, but also warmth and passion. It all depends on context and perceived appropriateness.
How to Choose Web Design Colors
The Interactive Effects of Colors by John Doyle, Cardiff Business School, UK shows that the relationship between brands and color hinges on the perceived appropriateness of the color being used for the particular brand. Perception can be heavily influenced by repetition. If we see a specific color constantly associated with a certain brand or product often enough, we perceive that color as being appropriate in that context. As web designers (and designers in general) we have the power to influence consumer perception for better or for worse.
While certain colors can suggest specific feelings or moods in a general sense, it is far more important that the colors you choose properly reflect the personality of the brand or product. It's the feeling, mood, and image that your brand creates that plays a role in persuasion. When your colors are a good match for the brand's personality, they contribute to good web design. The colors you choose are really determined by your skill in communicating with the vocabulary of color.
By becoming more sensitive to the use of color in popular culture and nature, you build a color vocabulary. Be observant. Color perception varies, depending on our influences, culture, and context. Apple Inc. takes Chinese consumer tastes into account when it designs many of its products, Chief Executive Tim Cook said, underscoring the country’s importance to the iPhone maker. For example, the decision to offer a gold iPhone last year reflects in part the popularity of that color among Chinese users, the second largest market for Apple's products.
Borrow color palettes from other cultures, and from nature. With practice, you refine and enhance your ability to use colors vocabulary with greater skill.
For example, consider Apple's use of white as a primary color in its advertising and branding. The color white supports the branding and personality of Apple and its emphasis on clean simple design. Context matters. Think of the color red and the brand automotive brand Ferrari. Perhaps the prime reason we associate red with Ferrari is repetition. Red is used by this brand so often that we perceive red as the appropriate color for Ferrari.
Think of the your clients brand when choosing web design colors. Rather than choosing colors based on clichéd symbolism's and expectations, think of how they work with your brand's personality. As a web designer, you can choose to follow conventional color perceptions or create new ones. The creative options offered by the vocabulary of color are endless!