When you pick the color for the background of your website, what are you basing that on? Is it on a gut feeling? On a whim? Because you love pink? If so then you need to have a rethink and to appreciate just how your color decisions affect the way people view your website and the way they spend time on there – which pages they navigate to, what they click etc. Here we will look at how to choose the colors for your websites with this in mind, and how colors can affect various aspects of your website’s impact.
The Psychology of Colors
This is the same with shops and restaurants – if you cast your mind back to most fast food restaurants then you’ll note that the color schemes are often red, orange and white. The reason behind this? They want you to move on quickly, and so they use colors that work you up (orange for instance is considered an ‘aggressive’ color) rather than the kinds of colors that would make you want to relax.
With your website you of course want the opposite effect – you want colors that are going to make someone want to stay on the website. That’s why you see a lot of sites using calming colors (like blue) and neutral colors such as white and gray. This way the site is relaxing to look at and hence the viewer is compelled to linger longer.
Try altering your colors subtly or asking your web design company to do so, then see how this effects how long people stay on your site by looking at your stats. This way you can find the very best colors for your website and maximize the effectiveness of your pages.
Associations and Color
Colors also create associations and this is something else you need to consider. For instance we associate the colors black and navy with the corporate world and with business. These are after all ‘formal’ colors and the colors that we wear to work for the most part. Thus a business consultancy site would do well to use those colors. On the other hand we associate green with both money and the environment. You could then use green for a ‘make money’ advice website, or for an environmentalist website (note that green is a more divisive color than blue though, so use it subtly and use lighter shades.
Contrast and Readability
Of course your website also needs to be easy to read and it mustn’t give the person reading a headache – which is why lighter websites tend to do better than darker ones. A light background with a black font or dark blue font for instance will work well because it creates contrast.
You may want to use other colors for your buttons and menus, and for any ‘special offers’ or news items. Bright colors like red can be brilliant for drawing the eye, but only if they aren’t used liberally in other places around the site. You don’t want to create a situation where multiple areas are ‘fighting’ for the viewers attention.
And there’s much more to it than that as well. So make sure you discuss the use of colors with your web designers and recognize their importance. Think about the effect you want them to have on your visitors, and take the time to experiment with different color schemes.
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