Choosing the right colors – articles

Color plays a very important role in your website’s design. Even without you directly communicating anything to the viewer, your choice of colors sends a message and you don’t want it to be the wrong message.

Diligent research of your target audience will reveal a lot about their likes and dislikes. Taking the time to find out what will be most appealing to your audience, phsycologically can make the difference in skimming your site and actually staying and being enticed to buy something. You or your web designer must take the time to research the audience. A good web designer should have a good insight into which colors are well placed and how they may be perceived the viewer.

The Institute of Color Research writes: “research reveals all human beings make a subconscious judgement about a person, environment, or item within 90 seconds of initial viewing and that between 62% and 90% of that assessment is based on color alone.”

A good web designer should help advise you on the color choices for your website. When choosing a good color scheme for your professional website, try to stick with just 2 or 3 colors or better yet, shades of them.

Yellow is a very cheerful and happy color, although may make it harder to see when matched with the wrong background. Yellow for a background color is a definite no. It makes text very hard to read and worse still if it’s used as the color of text with the wrong background.

Red is an action color, arouses emotions and stimulates the senses. If you’ve ever seen those get rich quick websites they tend to use a lot of reds for their action buttons, to entice people to respond.

Blue on the other hand is more tranquil and symbolizes peace and instills trust. This is probably the main reason why so many businesses use this color in their logos.

Greens can stir up feelings of wealth and prosperity. Green is also often used as a color symbolizing life and nature.
There is so much opinion with regards to the color that is right for your website, but only you can make that decision. The main point I am trying to make here is that you need to choose your colors carefully after researching your audience.

In the mid 90’s it was established that most computers could only view 256 colors and reliably show 216. So for consistency web designers stuck to the web safe colors. This consisted of 216 colors. Today however we are so much further advanced with color technology and monitors are capable of much more. The number of people who still have really old monitors are fast dwindling, so if you really want to limit your color palette to cater to such a small minority it is your choice.

If your intention is to have your site viewable on cell phones then I would still suggest to stick to the web safe colors, since most of them can still only see 256 colors in their browsers.

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