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The Psychology Of Color In Web Design

Apr 14, 2008
Particular colors spark certain emotions and feelings within all of us. While there are some guidelines that any designer, including a web designer, can follow, it is also important to remember that cultural and regional differences may mean that the same color sparks a different reaction in different groups of people. Marketers and marketing companies from every type of media have long relied on our emotional relationship with color to improve the performance of an ad, make packaging more appealing, and generally improve the performance of a product.

Colors Encourage Emotive Responses

Combinations of colors are also known to spark emotive responses. Even at a base level, certain color combinations work well while others prove difficult to read or are simply too bright or brash to be appealing. The very first factor to consider is whether or not your viewers will be able to easily determine the content of the pages. Ensure that text shows up and is easy to read on the background color you choose. Pastel colors are the palette of choice because they are easier on the eye but they can be difficult to discern from one another unless used properly.

Base Colors

- Red is considered to be the most effective color for accenting text or page elements. Not only is it easy to spot among many other colors but it also encourages quick decisions and, therefore, quick sales. Red works well to encourage impulse buyers because of this urgency and because it makes visitors to your site feel they are missing out if they don't take up your offer.

- Yellow has similar attributes to red. It is usually easy to spot, although care has to be taken to ensure that it doesn't blend into a white background.

- Orange is a popular color with young people. This demographic of individuals is usually considered the most Internet and technologically savvy of all potential visitors so orange is a good color for websites that offer this kind of service. Orange is another strong color for encouraging impulse purchases.

- Blue is usually a tranquil color but combined with strong colors like reds it can produce a memorable and positive website design. Royal and deep blue can encourage buyers to make extra purchases.

- Green is the one color that has proven to deter people from websites. Exceptions obviously exist but greens need to be used well and carefully, if at all.

Why You Should Use Specific Colors For Your Site

Vibrant, bright colors are usually best used with young buyers and for websites that want to encourage impulse buyers. In contrast, older or more mature audiences prefer the subtlety that pastels offer. These color combinations are widely accepted as being effective. Supermarkets and manufacturers, as well as marketers, have injected large amounts of research and money into finding the most effective color combinations to encourage particular emotions - why not take advantage of their hard work and encourage your visitors to make more purchase without them ever knowing.
About the Author
Omaro Ailoch is a senior software engineer, an internet marketing expert, and the founder of OC IT Services http://www.ocitservices.com/ a highly skilled California based web development, design, and search engine optimization firm. OC IT Services has successfully improved ROI for small to large businesses and corporations through the successful streamlining of core business practices and the implementation of SEO strategies.
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