In the world of web design, color is one of the most powerful communication tools. Colors change our moods, inspire specific behaviors, provoke various emotions or cause physiological reactions – for instance, increasing our heart rate. Picking the color palette for a website is essential. It's color that will sell your product, pass your brand message and impact consumers' perception of your company. Here are some hacks on how to make the most from color in web design.
Know your target audience
Before choosing a color palette, make sure to first analyze your audience. Knowing the general demographic is crucial because colors mean different things to different cultures. Take white, for instance – while in India it's associated with death, a typical Englishman will think about innocence or cleanliness.
But geographical location is not everything. Think about age as well. Young audiences love saturated and lively colors and will be attracted to such an extravagant website. Mature audiences might find the same colors annoying and leave your website.
Match colors to your product
Graphics, borders, headline types, buttons, backgrounds and pop-ups should all be coordinated in their look. All this will create a balanced and harmonious environment, but also reinforce your brand message about the product.
Every product fits a certain color scheme. While eco-friendly and outdoor products and services will benefit from green, which is the chromatic symbol for nature, those that require consumers' trust should be blue. Think about social media websites like Facebook or Twitter or online transaction systems like PayPal – they're all blue because the color communicates serenity and trustworthiness.
Bright colors for call-to-action
Your call-to-action messages and buttons should be visible. Bright primary and secondary colors like red, green, orange or yellow will guarantee that users pay attention to these elements. Web designers fond of darker colors like black, dark gray, purple or brown will find out that most of the time those tints result in lower conversion rates.
Yellow and orange are perfect for call-to-action messages and boxes. They're among the 'ugly' colors, which generally do wonders to conversion rates. It's simple – since they go against our aesthetic sense, these ugly tints often capture more attention than elements, which perfectly fit the color scheme of the website.
Colors and genders
Another important audience metric is gender. An insightful KISSmetrics study showed that women like blue, green and purple, men tend to go for blue, green and black. In fact, men reported purple to be one of their least favorite colors. This essentially means that purple can be very tricky in web design.
How to research your target audience before you choose a color scheme? Make sure to have at least two variants available, test your website with A/B testing and be ready to apply major changes to your website if your color scheme turns out to affect its conversion rate.
The white and black issue
Those two colors are very tricky. If you're interested in a clear and uncluttered layout (and who isn't?), you can use one of them as your background. White or negative space adds a touch of sophistication to any website. This kind of simple and modern look might be perfect for some brands.
What about black? It's the color of power and elegance in a decidedly contemporary style. It will work well for brands addressing mature consumers. If you settle on black as your background color, make sure that your lettering is visible and messages readable.
Picking the right color palette for your website, you'll significantly improve the performance of your brand online – you'll enjoy a wider brand visibility, improve your conversion rate and clearly communicate your brand message to consumers.