McDonald’s, Burger King, Pizza Hut, KFC — what do all these restaurants have in common, besides cheap, greasy food? If you guessed the color red, you’re right. Their logos and the inside of their eating establishments have been carefully designed to include red. According to color psychology, red stimulates your appetite by exciting you and drawing you in.
Billions of dollars spent on cruddy tacos and burgers that never decompose can’t be wrong. Color psychology doesn’t just work in the offline world, though. It can be a great tool for web designers, too, helping to do anything from increase conversion rates to conveying the right vibe for a business. Here are ways that you can use the psychology of color in your web design projects.
What’s Your Goal?
The first thing you need to figure out before determining the right color palette for your audience is what your goal is. The argument for this is pretty powerful. One study found that it takes just 90 seconds for people to form an opinion on a product and 90 percent of that opinion can be determined by the colors used in the product.
Different goals require different approaches because they play to different audiences. For example, if you are designing a site for a clown who performs at kids’ parties, you’re going to want an upbeat, bouncy color scheme. You want to encourage people to think of your client as fun. But, if you’re designing for a funeral home, you’ll want a toned-down, low-key scheme. You want people to think of your client as serious.
The ultimate goal of any website, of course, is conversions and you can use color to funnel people toward a conversion. Use a color for your call-to-action button that stands out from the rest of your color scheme to make it stand out and drive more conversions. Bold colors tend to work best for this.
Who Is Your Audience?
Just as important as determining what your goal is for your client’s site is determining who the audience is. Here’s where the psychology of color can really come into play. Different colors play to different audiences.
For instance, it’s been shown that men and women gravitate toward very dissimilar colors. Say you are working on a website that targets women, such as a dress shop. You’ll want to play up the green, blue and purple, as those colors are preferred by females. But if you’re targeting men, say on a site that sells razors, you’d be wise to drop the purple and instead use black, because men respond better to that color.
The Right Color for Your Goals and Audience
Here’s the fun part: Figuring out which colors are best suited to what you’re designing. Once you’ve learned about the psychology behind how colors affect our emotions, you can start piecing together on your own what colors may and may not work with your client. Here’s a quick look at the most popular colors and what emotions they’re best at targeting.
Read a breakdown of what colours do for your audience on the Codecondo website.