How to choose colours for your website

Your choice of colours can make or break your website. Glaring or unpleasing colours can shy away your visitors whereas carefully chosen colours can dramatically enhance the effectiveness of your communication. You can use colours for the background, text, graphics and navigation tools to:

Organise your information

  • Draw your visitor’s attention and highlight particular information.
  • Colour code to create categories and set apart or unify screen components.

Promote your brand

  • Project a unified corporate image and strengthen your brand.
  • Differentiate your website from competitors.

Reinforce your message

  • Create an atmosphere and evoke an emotional response.
  • Increase the comprehension of your message.

Improve website usability

  • Identify information already accessed e.g. blue for unvisited links, purple for visited links.
  • Help to quickly locate information.

BUT, beware that colours also could…

  • Strain your visitor’s eyes with the extensive use of bright colours.
  • Confuse your visitor if you don’t follow colour conventions e.g. greenstop instead of redstop
  • Distract from your message if you use too many colours.
  • Impair legibility is there is not enough contrast between background and fonts.

Perception of colours

  • External factors (type of computer screen and web browser), personal situation (colour blindness) and use of colours (size of area and adjacent colours) can make colours unpredictable.
  • You don’t know how your visitor will view the colour you selected.
  • To make it worse, colour association varies according to cultures for example, the colour red signifies danger in US, happiness in China, death in Egypt and life in India.

Experiment with colours, it’s good fun.

Marketing Cues tip

  • For more control over the background of your pages, always assign a colour even if it is white to avoid the grey default colour of some browsers.
Posted in website design