When a consumer interacts with a product, colour is the first thing that comes to his notice and it is this colour on which around 85% of the purchase decisions are made (according to ragan.com-news and ideas for communicators). It is thus very crucial to understand the colour psychology of the visitors of your website and convert their purchase intentions into actual sales. Let us discuss this colour psychology in detail.
Colour psychology, as we all know, refers to the study of hues as a determinant the behaviour of humans. Colours can influence the emotions and perceptions of the customers and hence can have either a positive or a negative impact on the sales of a product.
There are various factors that might be looked at while considering the design and layout of your website. Having a right GUI is essential to make the site user user-friendly the same time, it is very essential to have the right colour scheme for your website. This factor might often be overlooked by many website developers but it is actually one of the most critical elements of one’s website design. Thus, it is very essential to understand the meaning of different colours as perceived by customers and how these meanings change in different contexts such as gender, age group, country of origin etc. Let us discuss the relevance and meaning of some of the basic colours that are used by all.
Red – Red is known to increase the appetite and create a sense of urgency. It is used for clearance sales. This colour is associated with movement, excitement and passion and high in energy. As far as the biological impulses are concerned, red often stimulates the human body physically, affects the nerve impulse and raises the blood pressure and the heart rate. If overused, red is not good for luxury goods, nature related content and professional websites.
Blue is a colour that is more preferred by men than it is by women. This colour is associated with peace, tranquility and reliability. It gives a sense of security and promotes trust in a brand. Blue is known to curb the appetite, stimulate productivity, calm the mind and is associated with maturity. However, it can also indicate conservatism and frigidity. Using darker shades of blue may give the user a feel of the website being cold and unresponsive. Also, since it curbs appetite, care should be taken not to use it with food relate products.
Green is associated with health and nature. It gives a sense if royalty and respect. It is used to give a relaxation effect to the customers. Also, this colour is used to promote environmental issues, increase harmony in the brain, draw a balance between the body and the emotions and lead a person to a stage of extreme decisiveness. However, it may build feelings of possessiveness if used too frequently. Green is less recommended for tech related and luxury products.
Purple is associated with royalty, wisdom and respect. It stimulates problem solving via the creative area of the brain. It is frequently used for beauty and anti-aging products. Overall, purple gives a sense of creativity, wisdom and imagination. At times, however, it can create a sense of immaturity and impracticality. Slightly dark shades of purple changes the user perception to thinking that the website is not used by many.
Orange is associated with cheerfulness and optimism. It indicates caution and is often used by marketers to draw the attention of impulsive buyers. This colour stimulates the logic centre of the brain and promotes enthusiasm. However, if used too frequently, it can create a sense of anxiety, pessimism and superficiality.
Grey symbolizes feelings of practicality, timelessness and solidarity. Hover, stress should be given not to use too much of grey. This is because it often leads to feelings of nothingness, old age, death and depression.
White is associated with feelings of purity, cleanliness and safety. It is often used to project neutrality and a sense of creativity and clean state.
Yellow represents sunshine, happiness and warmth. It is related to optimism, creativity, cheerfulness and warmth. Yellow often relates to the mind and the intellect. However, if used too frequently, it may convey impatience, criticism and cowardice.
Black is often used in combination with other colours. It gives a sense of both traditions and a taste of the modern world. It can be used for luxury goods, cosmetics, fashion apparels etc. However, too much black can give a sense of being evil and threatening.
Pink stands for sophistication, sincerity, romance and love. Although it is a shade of red, it has lot more to convey than does red. Pink appeals to women more than it does to men and therefore the websites that are specifically catered toward women should make good use of the colour pink. However, the lighter shades of pink can be considered as too sweet and sentimental for some sites.
Brown, like red, is known to kindle the appetite. So it can be used for food related products (as such, coffee and chocolates have been making use of it). It is also suitable for real estate. However, since brown appears to be dull, it is not as good a colour as certain others when it comes to grabbing the users’ attention.
Now that we have got a rough idea on what the different meanings of colours is, let us now look at some of the dos and don’ts (in terms of the usage of colours) that we should keep in mind while developing websites for our businesses.
Firstly, it is very important to understand your audience. If your websites cater to a specific age group or gender, then the choice of colours should be made accordingly. For eg., the website of Barbie is making over usage of the colour pink so that it appeals to the girls that it is meant for.
Secondly, choose the right main colour, background colour and accent colour for your website. While choosing the main colour, guidelines should be drawn using the above-explained meaning of different colours. Apart from finalizing the main colour, the website developer must also finalize a background colour and an accent colour. This choice shall not be based on instincts. There are various softwares that help one to decide the shade and brightness of the background colour. Adobe Color CC Tool is one such software that can help you in this regard. The background colour should be chosen very carefully so that it grabs the attention of the user at once and doesn’t pinch to his eyes. They should feel comfortable and spend more time on your website.
Coming on to accent colours; they are used to highlight specific parts of your website that you want the users to pay attention to but in a subtle manner. These accent colours should be used for specific quotes, buttons etc. on your website.
One highly recommended colour scheme is to have a white or a light background and having bold accent colours. This has been proven to grab the user’s attention.
Hanzell.com, for example, uses a very light background colour and a bold black colour for its name, thus grabbing the user’s attention at once.
Famous examples of the usage of main colours are shown below:
Coca-Cola uses the colour red since red is known to increase the appetite. Other famous examples of brands that use the colour red are, Pizza Hut, KFC, McDonald’s, Zomato etc.
PayPal, Bank of India, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Bank of America all are examples of websites that use the colour blue in them, thus indicating the trust factors that users can have on them.
Subway, Starbucks etc., on the other hand, make use of the colour green in order to create an image of healthy products with environmental friendly waste.
Hope this blog was of help. So go ahead and get on to building the right website for your business. Remember, sometimes all you need is a little splash of colours!