Applying Color Psychology to Web Design

Behavioral psychology has this sub-field called color psychology, and it studies the associations between colors and human emotions, attitudes, and values.

For web designers, having a bit of understanding of the psychology of color in web design is something they can use in their work. After all, knowing how people respond to certain colors can go a long way in advancing the goals, motives, or agenda of a client who commissioned them to create their websites. They would be able to use the right color that best represents their client, or elicits the type of response the client is going for.

A very common color that web designers—and all marketers in general—use in their work is red.

According to color psychology, red is really good not only at catching the attention of people but also at creating a sense of urgency. It isn’t surprising then that marketing materials, including websites, turn red when they’re announcing a sale with huge discounts that shoppers shouldn’t miss. Typically, people will be flocking to stores—online and otherwise—or they’re going to miss out.

Red is also used quite frequently for call-to-action or CTA buttons on websites for its attention-grabbing qualities.

When a web designer wants a website to look cool, he or she will likely use blue. But blue does more than just project coolness. Color psychology also associates the color with such qualities as stability, intelligence, reliability, trust, and security. It’s also interesting to note that blue is also the signature color of a number of companies, including Facebook and Twitter.

Of all the colors in the color wheel, nothing is sunnier than yellow, for obvious reasons. Anything with the color yellow exudes warmth and cheerfulness. Not a few people even claim they feel a bit younger whenever they see yellow. Yellow is perfect for websites of companies that manufacture or sell toys and other products for children. Just don’t use too much of it because yellow can be overwhelming.

Now if a web designer is working on a site that will create a sense of urgency and project cheerfulness at the same time, then the best color would be orange, which is a marriage between red and yellow. Unsurprisingly, orange is also quite popular for use in CTAs.

The above are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to color psychology and the behavioral associations that it makes. Check out the infographic below for more information about color psychology.