Web Design and Its Use of Color Psychology

There is a sub-field of psychology called color psychology, and it focuses on studying how colors affect human behavior. The premise here is that colors have certain emotions, attitudes, and values associated with them, and it is these associations that are exploited to the hilt by marketers and designers—web designers included—to elicit specific reactions from their audience.

There are, of course, questions as to the accuracy of these associations as perceptions of color do depend too much on personal experiences, which makes any conclusions about which color triggers such reactions incredibly subjective. Nevertheless, web designers continue to use color psychology in their work simply because the associations somehow make sense, and they, more often than not, work in web design.

Here are some basic colors and the behavioral associations attached to them.

Blue is associated with calmness and serenity, which is probably why many believe that the sight of it lowers blood pressure and heart rate. Trust, intelligence, security, reliability, and stability are also linked to blue.

Red is the color of passion and is also useful for creating a sense of urgency. Just think of the many sale signs and announcements you’ve seen in your life, and you will realize how much marketers and designers have been using red for this purpose.

The color yellow is all about fun, cheerfulness, and optimism. The color of sunshine, however, can also be a bit overwhelming if web designers used a lot of it in their work.

Mix red and yellow, and you get orange, which is used not only to project a sense of fun but to create a sense of urgency as well, just like its two parent colors.

Learn more about colors and their behavioral associations according to color psychology by checking out the infographic below.

Greg Ahern
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