The power of colour in web design

Considering colour in web design

Colours can influence our mood and as a result even how we feel physically.  Web design uses colour like any other artistic expression, but not all web designers understand the psychological power of choosing the right colour in web design. In fact, very few people realise how it works and even fewer actually pay attention. As an example, many people report feeling anxious in a yellow room and the calming effects of blue and especially the ocean is a feeling most of us can empathise with.

How many home makeover TV shows have interior designers explaining how colour can dramatically affect moods, feelings and emotions – web design is no different. Colour is a powerful communication tool that should be utilised in the design of your website. The right colour can be used to signal action, influence mood, and in extremis cause physiological reactions.

How colour can evoke emotions

Colours are divided into 2-basic groups – those in the red area of the spectrum and those in the blue area. Colours in the red area are known as warm colours and naturally include reds, oranges and yellows.  These evoke emotions ranging from feelings of warmth, comfort and cosiness to anger and aggression. Colours in the blue area are known as cool colours and include blues, purples and greens. These colours as generally regarded as calm and tranquil, but can be associated with indifference or sadness.

The cultural significance of colour

However, feelings about colour can be deeply personal and are often rooted in your own experience or culture. For example, the colour white is used in many Western countries to represent purity and innocence, but in many Eastern countries it is seen as a symbol of mourning.

In fact, several ancient cultures, such as the Egyptians and Chinese, used colours to heal.  This practice known as Chromotherapy, or as it is sometimes referred to as light therapy or colourology, is still used today as an holistic or alternative treatment.

Maximise the visual effect of your website using colour

While most psychologists view colour therapy with scepticism and point out that the supposed effects of colour have been exaggerated, many advertisers give credence to its power. There are huge marketing campaigns based on the way customers perceive colours in order to make them buy.

We’ve all experienced the effects of colour, it’s one of the reasons we find all manor of things more attractive than others, whether it be clothes, cars, rooms or even websites. So when you need a new website or a revamp of your existing one, make sure you choose a web designer who really understands the power of colour in web design and how best to maximise the visual effect of your website in line with your product and brand image. There’s a whole spectrum to choose from, making the right colour choice is a skill that cannot be underestimated.

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