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Color psychology in web designing: the ultimate guide for web designers

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Color psychology in web designing

There are many factors to consider to achieve a successful website. For many businesses, conversions are the one of biggest indicators that their website is performing well. Did you know that color psychology in web design can impact those conversions?

We all know the visual stimuli guide nearly everything we do. Colors, visual stimuli can help a bin establishing a solid brand identity. Brand and colors are inextricably linked. Colors are registered by our minds before imagery or typography. Researches have revealed that colors affect not just the prospects’ perception, but also our emotion and behavior. visitors are consciously or unconsciously affected by the color-coding used on a specific web page, and they often act according to the feelings they associate with certain colors.

Further, they have the power to improve conversions by grabbing customers’ attention and triggering the right emotions for sales. They are the key ingredient in building trust, making consumers feel comfortable, and creating long-term brand advocates.  In fact, 62% to 90% of purchasing decisions are based on colors! So, digging deeper into the psychology of color can significantly improve conversions for the website.

Now, When we talk about web design, we think of backgrounds, navigation, logos, buttons and all the graphics the visitors are going to encounter at their first glimpse on a website page. A website might have content that is eloquent and clear, but the color choices for background and other elements could send a contradictory message. Just as user experience and user interface design play a huge role in a website’s success. The same goes for color and how they are applied in web design. Color psychology is a powerful web design tool, and more and more designers are using it to convey key messages of the brand and impact the attitudes and emotions of the target audience.

Many designers tend to think of colors as something that has only a purely aesthetic impact on web designs. However, colors are actually a vital component of the psychological impact of your design on users. They send a message without being overt and can thus determine buying choices. It only takes 90 seconds for a person to form an opinion about your product, and it’s estimated that up to 90 percent of that opinion is based on colors and colors alone.

What is color psychology?

Colors have the ability to drive sales, by tapping into subconscious human emotions and by generating optimal responses. Color psychology, contains values, emotions, and even physiological reactions closely associated with certain colors. The human brain plays a major role in color perception. In fact, we think of color as a physical object but it is actually a psychological phenomenon.

Color enormously fluctuates customer attitudes and emotions. When a human eye comes in a contact with a color, they communicate with a region of the brain. There’s a chain of reactions which takes place within a part in your brain known as the hypothalamus (located at the base of the brain), which in turn sends a cascade of signals to the pituitary gland, on to the endocrine system. The flow then follows to the thyroid glands. The thyroid glands signal the release of hormones, which cause fluctuation in mood, emotion, and resulting behavior. Therefore, changing the color of your call-to-action button can often result in a significant improvement in your conversion rate. It`s this simple.

Why Color Affects Emotion



Why colors affect the way people feel isn’t easy and straightforward to explain. There are a number of elements that can influence a person feeling and emotions when exposed to a certain color. One important factor is the personal association with color. If a person’s favorite color was blue during his childhood, for example, then they may have a strong preference and biasness for blue throughout their life. Or, at the opposite end of the spectrum, if they were ever injured by a blue car as a child, they might have a strong negative emotional reaction to the color blue.

Colors in web designing

Web designs should have an influence over the behavior of the target audience and designers have been looking to the psychology of colors to help them create impactful websites. Further, every website aims to hook each visitor’s attention and elicit specific reactions and emotions with the goal to earn clicks, subscriptions, registrations, and purchases. Color psychology in web design is a tool to help drive those engagements above and beyond interfaces, user flows, and copy.

 Just like it’s important to choose the right color for your brand logo, it’s equally as crucial to choose the right color scheme for your website. Web design needs to have several things at once. First thing first, It must look good. It must have easy navigation for visitors. It should be able to hold an internet user’s attention for as long as possible. Lastly, it must gently lead the visitors down the conversion funnel, quietly urging the visitors to do whatever action the site owners have as the goal of the site.

 The psychology of color is crucial and helps to maximize your site’s web design. Using the right colors can help put the customers in the frame of mind that compels them to take action. You, as an owner, will not want to pick the color scheme at random or on the basis of “whatever looks cool” to you.

For example, the call-to-action button on websites consists of five elements, which should coexist harmoniously and be consistent within website design. These elements are form, size, message, placement, and color. Researchers claim that bright warm colors, such as red, orange, and yellow, have the highest conversion rates. Green is also an excellent option, as most people associate green as it gives the feeling of doing the right thing. Therefore, changing the colors of CTA buttons to these can improve conversions.

 On the contrary, darker colors like black, dark gray, or brown have a very low conversion rate and should be avoided.

Mentioned below are the psychology of some commonly used colors.

Colors and their meanings



Red: Red is associated with passion, love, and lust. It can also be associated with warnings and danger, or even with anger. Red can have a physiological impact on people, too, including raising respiration and heart rate.

Orange: Orange is energetic and positive. It’s an association with autumn leaves and seasonal transitions can also make people think of change when they see it.

Yellow: Yellow is considered the happiest hue in the color spectrum and is closely associated with sunshine and with hope. It can also be linked with caution, though.

Blue: represents calm and honesty and loyalty, hence its popularity in so many corporate brands such as Facebook. Blue can be associated with sadness and loss, depending on the context. It’s also linked to peace and even spirituality.

Green:  represents new beginnings and growth, as well as nature. Green is associated with affluence, money, and stability, particularly in darker shades.

Purple: Purple has long been associated with luxury and royalty, but also with mystery and the occult. Lighter purples, such as lavender, are more romantic.

White: White is pure and innocent, and often linked to cleanliness.

Gray: Gray can be seen as sophisticated and powerful, but can also come across as boring if used the wrong way. It’s one of the most flexible neutrals, as it can be seen as warm or cool, traditional or modern.

Brown: Brown is solid and dependable, and can be associated with nature depending on the context in which it is used. Here are a few things that are needed to be considered while using colors in web design as a web designer:

Cultural Differences



One area where web designers should be particularly careful in their work is in considering cultural differences in color meaning. For instance, in most western cultures, white is associated with innocence and has been wore at weddings. Whilst, black is associated with death and mourning. But in other cultures, particularly India and other Asian countries, white is associated with death and mourning.

Taking time to research the exact cultural meanings of colors before committing to a color palette is an important step in the web design process and one that should not be overlooked. Not just because of cultural differences, but also because of the significant effects color can have on visitor’s behavior.

The reason for this is that some cultures have different symbolism and association of colors and you have to consider this aspect when creating a website design for the target audience. For example, many Russian people still have a negative association with the color red, as a symbol of Communism.


Although this does not apply to everyone, some companies mostly cater to a specific gender. If the designer is creating a web design for one of these companies, the designer should research and know what are men’s and women’s favorite and least favorite colors.

Every gender, on average, has definite color preferences. These definite colors work as stimuli and evoke emotions in the mind of visitors.

How many colors to use?

Remember the 60-30-10 rule. This rule will help the web designer to figure out how many colors they want to use in total. This rule is used to create a color scheme that starts with the division of three colors into percentages to create “perfect harmony” on web design.

Here’s how it all breaks down.

60 percent of a dominant color

30 percent of a secondary color

10 percent of an accent color

This means that the primary color will be account for roughly 60 percent of the space on your web design, the secondary color will account for 30 percent and the accent color will account for 10 percent in total.

Let go of the biases

Repeat after me, do not choose the color on the owner’s preference rather choose on the basis of psychology. It is a common mistake that has been seen where many businesses make when choosing a color scheme.

if it is a cosmetics company targeting a female demographic, choosing brown as the primary color will not evoke the reaction and response, which either pink or purple will do.

This mistake can end up costing the company’s sales and will potentially dilute the brand over time.

Compare a few different color schemes



Okay here is the thing, the designers do not have to commit to the first color scheme they come up with. This can be very limiting. What we suggest is to come up with three or four different color schemes and compare them side by side to know which color will best suit the brand.

Then narrow it down until you find the color scheme that fits and conveys the message of the brand.

Color is powerful



Color psychology is a powerful communication tool for web designing and can give visitors signals on what action to complete. Those signals can influence mood, outcomes, and responses.

Investing time to understand colors and color psychology is important as Color increases brand recognition by 80%. Further, it will help a designer to grow and make better decisions to make the design more appealing and persuasive. Imagine if something as simple as changing the color of a button can increase desired behavior by double percentages then imagine how costly it would be to overlook this vital component of user experience design.

If you invest time in understanding the difference between color psychology, the knowledge will help you make better design decisions and make your design more persuasive.

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