A web design needs to serve multiple purposes at once. It must be visually appealing, easily navigable, hold the viewer’s attention on the site, and ultimately lead to conversion discreetly encouraging the visitor to comply with the action the site owners have as their objective.
Do you know that it takes only 50 milliseconds to make a judgement about your site by the user? And this is why one cannot risk many trials. It becomes important to choose those colour combinations which will tantalize your target audience.
There’s much more to logo and website than just the design – that big thing is Colour. Most marketers and web designers use distinctive colour(s) to convey the personality of a brand to influence and leverage their target audience. Because web design needs to monopolize over people’s behaviour, so more designers have turned to the psychology of colours. Employing the right colours can work wonders for a brand, whereas, using the wrong combination of colours can potentially lead to a plunge.
Let’s delve a little deeper to understand how colour psychology, being a subdiscipline of behavioural psychology, is an effectual approach to study to make an impact and allure your target audience. Research shows that colour is a key characteristic in improving the segregation of the information displayed on the screen. (Tan, Tung & Xu, 2009)
UNDERSTANDING THE BASICS
There’s a lot more to colours than what meets the eye. Different colours kindle different reactions and sentiments in people. Although, how we apprehend colours is subjective and circumstantial, some of its effects are universal.
Hues of red, blue and yellow are the primary colours from which tints and shades are created by adding white, black and grey to them, all these colours make the colour wheel.
Colours are broadly divided into three categories based on the sensations they induce in our minds, namely, warm, neutral and cool colours. Warm colours are located in the red area of the colour spectrum and include red, orange and yellow. These colours stimulate feelings of warmth, enthusiasm and consolation to feelings of aggression and conflict. Cool colours are found on the blue side of the colour spectrum and include blue, purple and green. These arouse feelings of calmness but can also generate a feeling of sadness. Neutral colours like beige, taupe, grey and other shades of white, lend a simplified and sophisticated look.
HOW TO USE COLOURS
Colours used in a website ascertains the brand’s sincerity and sophistication and vision. Colours elicit two reactions, arousal and evaluative reaction. Arousal is a state of psychological cognitive state characterised by higher adrenalin, pulse rate and blood pressure.
Based on the image and message the site owner want to convey, colour choices can be made accordingly. Some the most common are:
Monochromatic colour scheme
Varying shades of a single colour are used while following this. This colour scheme lends a clean and sorted look to the website. Hues of blue and green are soothing to the eyes.
Complementary colour scheme
As the word suggests, this scheme uses colours of high contrast directly opposite to each other on the colour wheel i.e. putting a warm colour with a cool colour, to make a pleasing combination to the eyes. Like, lime green and pink.
Triple colour scheme
The general thumb rule is to use three colours equally spaced from each other on the colour wheel, or more precisely, the colours located at 120 degrees from each other. This is quite favoured by web designers as it allows a balanced and harmonious colour scheme.
Ever wondered why Cadbury’s logo and website use purple colour, Facebook uses blue, Coca-cola uses red? They understand that of all the visual hierarchy methods, colour is the most impactful to entice their target audience. Type of product and colour are closely related. Hedonic articles are luxury products which make the consumer feel good and elated, like cosmetics and gadgets. Utilitarian goods are made for everyday practical use, like wheat and salt. Studies have validated that functional colours like grey, black, blue and green enhance utilitarian products and social-sensory colours like red, yellow, pink and purple boost hedonic products. Up to 85% of buyers base their decisions on colours.
Research assures that colour and design also correspond to website usability. This usability primarily rests on the legibility of the site. It shows that the direction of the contrast – light on dark or dark on light made a difference by making the text more legible.
Also if the design is heavy on content, then reducing the colour levels by tinting can substantially increase content consumption. On the contrary, increasing the colour levels on a simple design will increase the overall impact. Also, there’s a big misconception that red or green converts better. The fact is, when it comes to invoking an action, a contrasting colour on the website does the job and that is because our attention is naturally drawn towards things and objects which visually stand out from the rest.
In a nutshell, don’t get excited about using too many colours. Use lesser hues for a sorted look, and don’t underestimate the power of white. It’s a great colour to provide contrast, declutter and give a well-put-together look to the website