When creating a site, choosing the optimum colors is one of the most difficult tasks that arise in spite of the apparent easiness. Choosing the perfect chromatic palette is important in order to effectively communicate the message, in order to strengthen the idea of a unique entity and to create brand awareness.
Researchers agree that colors greatly influence the human state of mind. The color scheme that you use on your web site can entice the visitor to engage in the goal of your site (i.e. make a purchase or request your services) or leave it after the first few seconds. Even if they are not aware of it, your visitors will be greatly influenced in their decision to keep browsing your site or to leave it because of the poor selection of colors and other visual displayed elements.
1. Use a natural palette of colors.
They are more pleasing than any of their artificial counterparts. Combine them in order to get the emotional response that you want to get from your visitors. Unnatural colors, such as bright green, blue or red usually cause eye fatigue and chase visitors (i.e. prospects) away. Also you should be aware that primary colors like red, yellow or orange can work well for culinary promotion purposes.
2. Create a strong contrast between a page’s background and its text.
The best combination for readability is black text on white background, but there are also other excellent combination. Besides white, other effective web site background colors are dark blue, gray and black. The situation is not the same for product promotions. When the product is the center of attention, desaturated colors are recommended.
3. Select an average of 3 different colors and use them consistently throughout the web site.
Chromatic harmony is one of the most important criteria in order to create a pleasant experience for the visitors. It is strongly recommended that a moderate number of colors should be employed; four or five is ok; more than that not only will they create inconsistency, by they will also cause an eye sore for the visitor making him skip important parts of the site.
4. Be sure to take into account people with visual disabilities.
Make sure that the message of your site reaches such people as well. I have recently read a very useful article in this particular respect written by Aries Ardity (a vision science PhD), called Effective color contrast. The most important to-do’s and not to-do’s were taken from that article and reproduced below. You can see according to that article the most effective background colors in association with writings of certain colors.
COMMON COLORS + MOST COMMON MEANINGS
- Red: energy, passion, excitement, power; also implies aggression, danger.
- Blue: coolness, spirituality, freedom, patience, loyalty, peace, trustworthiness; can also imply sadness, depression.
- Yellow: light, optimism, happiness, brightness, joy.
- Green: life, naturalness, restfulness, health, wealth, prosperity; in certain contexts, can imply decay, toxicity.
- Orange: friendliness, warmth, approachability, energy, playfulness, courage.
- Violet: wisdom, sophistication, celebration.
- White: purity, cleanliness, youth, freshness, peace.
- Black: power, elegance, secrecy, mystery.
- Gray: security, maturity, reliability.
- Pink: romance a feminine color.
- Brown: comfort, strength, stability, credibility.