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Color has been known to exercise a potent impact on the decisions and behaviors of people, and this fact has been harnessed all too well by marketers and designers alike, especially when it comes to designing a website for an online business. Oftentimes, the choice of colors is the only factor that dictates consumer purchasing decisions, since research has shown that more than 85% buyers tout color to be their primary reason for purchase, while 93% focus on visual appearance only. Needless to mention, your choice of colors can make or break your business website.
While brick and mortar have the benefit of flashy displays, diligently arranged products, exuberant decors, and overtly friendly salesmen to capture the visitors, online businesses have nothing but their websites to interact with customers. The main challenge is that visitors landing on your website have an attention span of half a minute on average. In fact, it is your lucky day if your website could engage a semi-interested visitor for more than 10 seconds. Astoundingly, in this short expanse of time, 9 out of 10 purchasing decisions are made on the basis of color alone.
In order to leverage colors to entrance your audience and convey your intended brand message across, you need to have an in-depth comprehension of the color wheel, and the psychological effect of each color. You need to know how to use the right colors, with the right audience, and at the right time. In addition, it is prudent to research your intended audience diligently, determine the message you are trying to convey, and study your competitive environment. For instance, if you have a website that sells kid toys, instead of choosing black, gray, or any other drab colors, you will naturally select a more vibrant palette, such as pinks, blues, greens, and maybe yellow and red.
Since capturing, and retaining, the attention of visitors is indispensable for boosting the conversion rates, here’s how you can choose the most optimal color palette for your website:
Before deciding on a color palette for your website, you need to determine what you want your brand to say. The right color scheme can depict who you are as a company. Think about the personality that you want your brand to exude. Think about the first thing that should spring in the minds of your audience when they look at your brand.
Research has proven that different colors invoke different emotions and feelings in people, whether you are cognizant of these sentiments or not. While different colors may stir different emotions in people and there is no one formula to fit all, certain colors exude vibes that are unanimously agreed on.
For instance red is a dominant color that depicts strength, passion, and excitement, while yellow is the epitome of optimism, cheerfulness, and happiness, and instills a feeling of inspiration and confidence in the audience. Colors can serve as a subliminal language and reflect a company’s personality. As a rule of thumb, brighter colors work well for high energy brands, while muted colors best cater to mature brands. Also, different colors evoke different feelings in people, such as red denotes passion, anger, lust, blue is associated with trust, serenity, and integrity, while yellow and orange exude an optimistic and happy vibe.
While the right splash of colors is indispensable to sprucing up your brand image and cementing your brand message, the prowess of white spaces should never be underestimated as well. The right balance of empty spaces offers your potential clients or visitors some breathing space. You don’t want your audience to feel overwhelmed by the color vomit, so it’s prudent to incorporate turfs of neutral hues sporadically to anchor your website. “White spaces” need not inevitably be white. They can be any neutral, light shade that complements the rest of your site palette.
Another crucial thing to keep in mind is that the colors should become each other seamlessly, without popping out in stark discord. You can always refer to a color wheel to seek out complementary colors that work well impeccably. Play around with colors until your website feels harmonious and meticulously blended well.
Even if you aspire to glean a simple web design, it’s wise to ensure that you imbue enough contrast on your website to draw attention. Contrasting colors make your images pop, render your text easier to read, and grab the attention of your audience.
Accessibility and Visual Appeal
While your color palette should indubitably be eye-grabbing, it should be accessible first. Make sure that your color palette attracts and impresses most people. Also keep in mind that some people suffer from visual problems, such as color blindness. While these people belong to a minority sector of your audience group, their needs have to be addressed as well. Make sure that no one has difficulty reading the content or comprehending it.
This is by far the most imperative step when choosing a color scheme for your website, as it can make or break your online presence before you could blink. Yes, you want to stick to a color scheme that pleases you, but remember that ultimately you are creating a brand to be perceptible to your visitors, clients, and customers. This translates into one fact: the customer is always right!
Your color palette should ultimately appeal to your audience. Do your homework and unearth who your audience is, their demographics, predilections, age groups, and gender, before you try your hands at potential color combinations. Always keep the ultimate purpose of your website to the forefront, which is to boost engagements and augment conversion.
Ideal color palettes for Websites designed for:
In the age of rebellion, heavy metal music, and hardcore gaming, teenage boys are open to experimenting with more complex and gothic colors due to their exposure to gaming and computer graphics programs. Boys in this age group are known to display a penchant for Splash white, Charcoal Black, and denim blue.
Crimson red, jade black, and tangerine orange are some of the most alluring hues for this particular group. Some teenage girls have also exhibited a proclivity for varying tints of pink and purple. However, as they touch their late teens, they become more impartial to black, relating to a psychological need for black as they make the significant transition into the sophistication of adulthood.
Men: Yellow appears to be the most repulsive color for this target niche, unless it is a pale butter yellow. Fondness for clear colors, such as shades of greens, pinks, and fresh blues, and cleaner colors, such as blue greens in place of olive greens has been observed. Old men are generally more comfortable with the calming effects of purple, pink, green, and blue, than the stimulating, and bold overtures of yellow, orange, and red. Although, some are partial to choosing muted blue based pale yellows and reds.
Women: Women in this niche are predisposed towards more subdued hues. As they grow older, women often go for purples, running the gamut from violet and deep purple, to lavender, mauve, and plums.
Corporate Color Differences
Class Color differences
Industry based color preferences
According to the Von Restorff Effect, elements on your website that stand out are more likely to impinge a lasting impression on the minds of your visitors than items that blend into the background. To achieve this effect, choose colors for CTAs and important buttons that are not used at another place on your site and are in sharp contrast.
As a rule of thumb, it’s a wise measure to employ bright secondary and primary colors for your Call to actions. Studies have stressed that colors such as yellow, orange, green, and red convert best, especially when used specifically for Call to actions. As expected, darker hues like dark purple, and shades of brown, grey, and black claim a lower conversion rate. If you have decided on a secondary or primary call to action, one of these darker tints can be used for your secondary CTA to draw more attention towards the vibrant main CTA.
While your branding specialists and web designers must be especially concerned with color aesthetics only, it’s important to remember that conversion isn’t necessarily related to what looks good to you. In addition, it is imperative to avoid a color vomit on your website. Too many colors can create chaos and confusion. Your selection of colors have to incorporate the right balance of achromatic and white colors, with aptly placed chromatic hues. Contrast is the key and your vital conversion steps should be conspicuous and literally jump off the page for them to have the maximum impact. By using the right colors in the right way, you accomplish much more than conversions; you improve your brand recognition and make sure that your website strikes all the right cords. Remember to keep it clean, bright, and simple; something designed exclusively for improving the customer experience on your website.