Web Design and the Psychology of Color

Your business website is the Swiss-Army Knife of your marketing tool-kit. It needs to do a lot of things, and it needs to do them well. It needs to look good, function and navigate seamlessly, and engage visitors. Above all, however, your website needs to influence. It needs to guide visitors along a well planned conversion funnel and convert attention and awareness into acquisition and profit.

Unfortunately for advertisers stuck in their ways, the old, ‘smack-you-over-the-head-until-you-buy’ strategies of persuasion simply don’t work anymore. Consumers have become more informed or, at the very least, more cynical about advertising messages. As such, smart advertisers are looking more and more toward the practices of psychology to assist in their marketing efforts.

As savvy web designers have discovered, and research has supported, the choice of color utilized in a website’s design can go along way toward nudging visitor’s mindsets into being more receptive to specific messages. Web design and the psychology of color can make or break your digital marketing efforts.

Here at Creative Click Media, we’ve compiled this handy list detailing which colors are associated with which feelings and emotional responses. Bear in mind however that certain cultural differences can drastically influence a customers reaction and interpretation of specific colors. If you are marketing internationally, be sure to explore the unique chromatic idiosyncrasies of your regional demographics.

Green

Green is a color strongly associated with nature and plant life. Green has lots of positive associations and is capable of instilling a sense of calm, rejuvenation, and positivity. Darker shades of green are closely connected to money, so sites that want to convey wealth, financial growth or fiscal stability are often drawn to these colors. Lighter shades of green on the other hand are often associated with growth and environmentalism, so websites oriented toward naturalism or conservatism are well served utilizing these hues.

green websites

Health and wellness sites are a perfect place to use light greens as they illustrate positivity, calmness and an overall well-being.

 

Red

Red is an exciting and stimulating hue. It is typically associated with passion, power, and aggression. It is often utilized for warnings or to show danger as it is a striking color. However, it can also be used to imply boldness, action, and strength.

The warmer the shade of red utilized, the greater the sense of strong reassurance it exudes. Colors such as brick or maroon, for example, are great for websites looking to impress visitors of the lasting qualities of their products or services. Brighter color reds, on the other hand, exude a certain youthful energy. Bright reds are fantastic for youthful websites that cater to younger audiences or offer more youthful services.

Pink

Pink connects most directly with feelings of youthful femininity. It playfully brings to mind thoughts of soft comfort and bubble gum-snapping innocence. This makes it ideal for those websites that target a specifically feminine audience, such as fashion boutiques or make-up designers.

Orange

Orange is largely seen as more balanced and neutral color than red. Vibrant, fun, kinetic, and welcoming, orange is perfect for companies who want their website to convey a sense of excitement and movement. Companies that wish to spotlight their creativity and fun loving nature may wish to choose an orange-centric color scheme for the sense of unique excitement it exudes.

Blue

The color blue inspires thoughts of solidity, honesty and security. Blue is widely considered to be one of the most calming of colors and is often associated with general spirituality. Business sites that utilize darker blues often do so in an attempt to suggest experience and reliability. Lighter blues, however, are great for friendly or community based websites. For this reason, many social networking sites, like Facebook and Twitter utilize light blues.

blue website

Blue is a good color for realty sites as it features all the feelings real estate agents hope to install in their clients – security, reliability and community.

 

Yellow

Yellow is often thought of as the most exciting and energizing color. People often associate yellow with the sun and by proxy with happiness, activity, and comfort. Websites oriented toward children could benefit greatly from the use of bright yellow as it easily grabs their attention. Darker shades of yellow, however, have more complex associations and can suggest antiquity or lasting value. As such, these hues are fantastic for sites looking to portray a sense of wisdom and authority.

Purple

Purple has a long history of association with royalty, and darker shades of purple often convey a feeling of wealth, exclusivity, and luxury.

Dark shades of purple are often employed by websites that wish to appear as mysterious and complex but elegant. Conversely, those sites that target buyers seeking romantic products or services often opt for lighter shades of purple.

Black, White, and Gray

Blacks, whites and grays are typically reserved for background colors as they allow for brighter colors to make a more dramatic impact. That’s not to say that theses more basic colors don’t bring to mind their own particular associations.

Black speaks to modernity and sleek sophistication. Whites suggest purity and simplicity. Black and white designs are especially effective because of the juxtapose of these evoked responses.

These primary colors are most suitable for sites that express tradition and seriousness.

web colors

This website shows exactly how black and white websites are supposed to work. The background allows for the bright colors to stand out causing a dramatic affect.

 

Conclusion

The right color selection can go a long way toward creating a desired mood or impression on a website. Provided the chosen colors give off the right impression, visitors to the site will see it as trustworthy and in tune with both it’s products and customers. Is it any wonder then why the psychology of color meaning is so pivotal to modern web design.

About
Keyword-cruncher, customer-collector and web designer extraordinaire. Adam is the Founder of Creative Click Media. If he's not in front of the computer marketing your business, he's playing with his son, Miles. Tweet him at @AdamBinder_

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