A highly disputed subject in the field of psychology is the case of color stimuli. Some psychologists don’t really take it all that seriously, while others conceive it as a serious conditioning tool that can be used to counter mood swings, make people feel better and more. Whatever you think, it’s beyond any doubt that there is some truth to the whole concept and you can use it to your advantage by setting your website palette just right in order to boost sales. Here is what you need to know.
Image Source: Smashing Magazine
I will use the imaginary name Roy G. Biv in order to introduce all the colors in the spectrum. This anagram is perfect for remembering them according to their wavelengths. From longest to shortest, we have red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet. Each of the colors has its own effects on the human psyche and even though I would recommend you consider them, keep in mind that none of the information in this article is conclusive so apply the principle caveat emptor (which Wikipedia tells me means “Let the buyer beware”).
So what can we say about red? It’s usually a physical and a very strong color. The right amount can talk about energy, warmth and excitement. Too much, however, can be threatening and speak of aggression and demand. If it’s too saturated, it can be straining, so try keeping it on the low.
Orange signifies comfort, security and abundance. Depending on what you’re selling, some nuances of red and orange combined can be quite beneficial. However, it’s not just the colors present on your site that matter, but how you combine them, as well. You want there to be a free flow of color and nothing should seem too much out of place. Mistakes like these are common when we talk about colors in the longer spectrum and putting too much of them can be really off-putting.
Yellow inspires confidence and speaks of friendliness. In the same time if the wrong nuances are used or it is too saturated, it can give rise to irrational fears or anxieties. Keep in mind that the people visiting your site are not going to think about your color palette, but it is going to affect them all the same, on a subconscious level. You don’t have much time to communicate your message before the person decides your site is not what they are looking for so thread carefully. A nice combination of these three colors can tell people you’re friendly, confident and strong, signifying the good position your business is in. It can also be too threatening and straining if you overdo it. It’s all about balance.
Speaking of balance, if that’s the message you want to convey, then green is the color you want to use. Being in the middle of the spectrum, green is here to tell people how balanced and refreshing you are. If you are in the cleaning business or any other venue that might benefit from being environmentally friendly, green is the color to say that with.
Blue is an intellectual color but the wrong saturation might instill depression or the feeling of “being cold”. If you’re using blue, make sure it’s not too bright or too light or you will seem distant. It’s a good color for more specialized businesses (such as IT).
Indigo and Violet
We are going to combine these two and add pink to the mix. These are very specific colors only to be used when your business is in a romantic or highly spiritual setting. You can understand why those colors are not the best if you’re trying to sell fishing rods, right?
Black is the lack of color – it’s all consuming and it speaks of confidence and substance, but be very careful when you use it, because too much of it says you’re possibly oppressive.
White speaks of sterility and is perfect for pharmaceutical sites.
Those are the basic things you need to know about these colors. However, like I said, it’s not just the colors, but how you combine them that matters.
Connie Jameson knows how to design and optimize a website. She designed the template for her site CleanToPerfection all by herself. In her free time she likes to share her ideas.