A color scheme is one of the key, indispensable components of any web design. Based on the colors that are used in different elements of your web resource, people will remember your brand, draw associations with the products and services that you produce, and simply differentiate your project among a number of similar companies on the web. Although picking a color scheme for your web resource may seem to be easy, it requires a serious and well-grounded approach.
Literally, every element of your site’s design is made of colors. Logo, headline, complimentary elements, backgrounds, and other parts of your site’s design should be designed in a way that makes it easier to deliver your core objectives to the target audience. Depending on the color choice of banners, buttons and texts, you can motivate people to take an action, stay on your website, etc. You can draw their attention to the things that matter the most, bringing conversion-oriented elements in the spotlight.
With the help of this publication, we would like to help you pick the right color scheme for your own web project. We will also help you come up with the right combinations of hues that are suited for different business niches. The places where different colors are used are also important. Which part of your site should use this or that color? How to design backgrounds in a way that they look harmonious and do not distract the web audience from the content? Let’s get started!
This is a separate science that learns how different colors influence the way we understand and perceive the content that we come across on the web. No matter what kind of business you run, it’s highly important to understand color psychology. While connecting our feelings with the things that we see on a web page or the world that surrounds us, different color choices reflect the message that you want to share with the world. Color is the first thing that people will see on your site. This is the first element that will guide your visitors or make them take an action.
Colors are especially useful in eCommerce. According to Kissmetrics, an average of 85% of online customers makes shopping decisions based on colors only. The same resource states that a properly chosen color scheme can boost a brand’s recognition by 80%.
It’s been already said a lot about the color theory. Different studies focus on different aspects of the effect that colors have on the users. Let’s enumerate the most common points.
- By means of color, you can establish clear contrasts on the pages of your site. Contrasting scenes are great attention-grabbers, which can draw extra users’ attention to the most crucial elements of your site’s design. If you doubt about the application of bold color schemes to your site, opt for a classic combination. Design the background in fair hues while making texts darker.
- Different colors set different moods on the pages of your site. Brighter, warmer hues are great energizers, whereas cooler and darker shades will add a more tranquil mood to your web project.
- Complementation. If we take a look at the color wheel, we will notice that different colors oppose each other. For example, orange is the complement of blue. When used within the same layout wisely, these can make the presentation of your data even more effective.
Color Meaning for Different Nations
Just like symbols, different colors are treated differently by the users of different nationalities. That is why, when planning to launch a website, you need to make it clear what particular kind of audience you target. Here is a quick overview of the basic associations that people from different countries have with the most frequently-used colors.
- Red. In North America and Europe, red symbolizes love, excitement, and danger. For people belonging to Eastern and Asian cultures, red means joy and happiness. Red-colored gowns are commonly worn by brides in those regions. Speaking about the Middle East, red stands for danger and caution there.
- Yellow. In Western Europe, the color is commonly associated with warms, summer and hospitality. Eastern and Asian culture consider yellow an imperial color. In Egypt and Latin America, the color means happiness and prosperity.
- Blue is considered to be one of the most neutral colors in the color wheel. Still, there are certain differences in its meaning all over the world. Thus, in Western countries it means trust and authority. In Asian nations, this is the color of immortality and strength. In Latin America, blue bears a religious meaning.
- Green. This is another popular color, which is often used in web design. People from Western Europe associate it with nature, environment and luck. Users from Eastern countries understand green as the color of nature and youth. For Latin America, green is the color of death.
- Purple. The color is widely-accepted as a symbol of royalty and wealth. In all Western, Eastern and Asian cultures, this is the symbol of wealth and fame. In Latin America and Thailand, this is the color of death.
- White. In Western countries, white means purity and peace. In Italy, Eastern and Asian counties, white is used on funerals, representing mourning and unhappiness. In Middle East, white means both purity and death.
- Black. The color means death and finality in Western Europe. In Asian countries, this is the symbol of wealth and health. People from Latin America and East associate black masculinity and mourning.
As you can see, different nations understand the same colors differently. While in some countries, a certain hue nears a positive meaning, in a different place on Earth it can cause negative emotions only. So, before you decide upon the color scheme of your site, get a better understanding of your audience and the culture of your target audience. In that way, you will be able to pick the right color scheme for your online project.
Color & Conversions
Colors are the indispensable component of your site’s conversion tunnel. By means of the properly set color scheme, you can visualize and realize the flow your potential customers go through after they reach your website. Conversion funnels are made up of the 4 basic components. These are awareness, interest, desire, and conversion. As you could have already guessed, colors play a major role at each of its stages.
- The first stage, i.e. awareness, is all about attracting customers to your site. This is where people are introduced to your brand. This is the stage when people learn about your offerings, products, and servicers. Knowing your target audience is important while building the color palette of your site in a way that attracts the audience and evokes the right emotions.
- In order to make the web users interested in your offerings, you need to keep the layout focused on catching headlines, banners, and compelling texts that won’t leave anyone indifferent after scanning through your copy.
- In order to evoke the users’ desire to take a certain action, all images, videos, product details, and customer testimonials need to be presented in a way that won’t leave anyone indifferent. While thinking about the future design of your site, come up with the three basic colors for its color scheme. Later on, these colors will be associated with your brand, so think twice before you make the final decision. The trick that always works is picking 2 neutral colors for the background and 1 more vibrant one. The latter will draw the users’ associations with your brand.
- And the last stage of the conversion funnel is the moment when a user takes the desired action, converts. How to help people achieve this action? That’s when colors will also help. Use the most vibrant colors from your site’s color scheme in order to draw the users’ attention to that one single action. Make it stand out from the rest of the content. Whitespace will help you draw extra emphasis to the call-to-action.
Simply put, add contrasting colors to the areas that you want to convert. If your site is built in blue hues, add a darker shade to the main CTA button. Make it avid even for the first-time visitor to realize where he/she needs to move further.
Proper Use of Colors for Site Optimization
When it comes to web design, there are several working color combinations, which are chosen based on their position in the color wheel. These are complementary, analogous, color triad, split-complementary, rectangle, and monochromatic. Let’s talk about each of them in details.
- Complementary color scheme is the one that contains colors that are placed one in front of another in the color wheel. For example, if you select blue violet, the complementary one will be light yellow orange.
- Analogous color scheme is the one that contains three colors that are placed one next to another in the color wheel. For example, these may be yellow, yellow green and green.
- When we speak about color triad, we need to recollect the basics of geometry. There is nothing too complicated, so don’t be afraid that you won’t cope with this task. All that you need to do is picking three colors that are equidistant from each other. While connecting them by means of straight lines, you will attain a triangle revealing the combination of three colors. For example, these may be orange, violet and green.
- When you opt for a split-complementary color scheme, you pick one basic color and choose two other hues that stand next to its complementary color in the color wheel. For example, you can select red violet as the core color. Yellow and green will be the other two shades making up the semi-complementary color scheme.
- As the name implies, a rectangle color scheme suggests you to connect pairs of complementary colors. When connected by means of lines, the combination will get a shape of a rectangle. For example, you can select red and green, yellow orange and blue violet. All together they will make up a rectangular color scheme.
- As per the monochromatic color scheme, it suggests you using darker and lighter shades of the same color. For example, it you decide to build your website in blue color, you can pick different shades of darker and lighter blues within one and the same design.
When applied in practice, such combinations of colors will help you to not only add an eye-pleasing presentation to your site, but also draw the users’ attention to the areas that are of the biggest importance.
The choice of a color scheme depends heavily on the niche in which you work. Business, financial and accounting sites commonly feature clean and concise layouts built in blue. For example, the following ready-made WordPress design for medical web portals features a professional and well-balanced layout featuring different shades of blue. CTAs are surrounded with whitespace, which makes them look even more outstanding. The layout doesn’t feature any heavy design elements, which allows the web audience to remain focused on the written and visual data.
Food and drink related online resources pursue the goal of making the users’ mouth water and evoke a desire to either purchase some food or visit an establishment where specific offers are being served. The most popular color choices of cafe, restaurant, supermarket, and other web projects of this kind are yellow, red and green. These three hues are known as strong appetizers. So, when used on food sites, they are supposed to evoke the right emotions. Here is a good example of a restaurant design, where the hues are used smartly.
Wrapping it up, we would like to conclude that while using colors in web design wisely you will be able to attain the desired results in a short run. When working on your site’s color scheme, keep in mind your target audience, your business niche, the goal that you pursue, and the type of content that you want to be in the spotlight.
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