The colors you use in your website’s design have the potential to captivate and influence a sale. They also have the potential to distract and disrupt your visitors’ attention and make them bounce.
Don’t underestimate the power of color when it comes to influencing your visitors. A beautiful color scheme isn’t necessarily an effective one. Just because a color scheme looks good doesn’t mean it can’t distract your visitors and steer them away from making a purchase.
A research study, titled Impact of Color on Marketing, determined that people make up their minds within the first 90 seconds of interacting with a person or a product; up to 90% of that decision is based on color.
While most website designers use color to differentiate their clients from their competitors, it’s important to keep in mind the emotional impact of color.
You don’t need to stay away from bright colors
Although bright colors can be difficult to use professionally, it’s not impossible. It just takes a skilled designer to make it work. Here’s an example of 31 different designs using purple. Purple isn’t an easy color to use on a website, but these designers got it right.
Examples of what not to do with color
Sometimes a color scheme is perfectly matched, but the way it’s used makes it an eyesore. For instance, the l.a. Eyeworks website has been discussed in other articles for its blinding, bright green background. The green layout is gone, but their new design is even worse. If you didn’t need glasses before, you will after seeing their website.
Web design firms aren’t exempt from abusing color
In addition to a bizarre introduction and confusing design, this London website design firm misuses color in several ways. Their colorful background might look good as a painting, but it’s distracting on a website. The colors they’ve chosen for their introductory text clash, and links are solid blocks of color when moused over.
If you’re wondering how a website design firm with a poor website can get clients, it’s because most clients don’t understand how design works. The misconception is that a website that looks good is going to be effective. If the client likes the way it looks, they’ll sign off on it.
Examples of what you should be doing with color
You’ve heard the phrase, “less is more,” and that applies heavily to the use of color in website design. This antique jewelry website uses minimal and subtle colors to their advantage. Their minimalist approach to color, with a gold header and black text, matches the elegance of their product. The lack of colorful borders around products allows a visitor’s eyes to rest on the products they’re naturally drawn to.
A big design mistake, made by many ecommerce websites, is boxing in their products with bright, thick borders. That makes the borders stand out more than the products, causing eyes to bounce from one box to another. This creates an unconscious, internal conflict in the visitor’s mind.
This Helpscout article, The Psychology of Color in Marketing and Branding, is also an example of how to use color correctly. The header is a solid shade of blue, yet minimal. The title stands out, and the paint bucket graphic blends in smoothly. Considering that the content of the article is about color, it’s a good thing the colors are used properly.
Don’t let clients sway you toward bad design
Web development clients are known for being extremely selective with how they want their website designed. More often than not, their requests contradict design standards, as well as best practices that are proven to maximize conversions.
As a website developer, it’s your job to give the client what they want. If they want conversions, give them the proper color scheme to achieve conversions. If you present them with a harmonious, clean color scheme and they reject it, do your best to explain why you chose the colors you did.
It’s not the easiest conversation, but it’s important to get your clients to understand that the colors used in their design will make or break their conversions.
You’ll always have those clients who insist on using their preferred color scheme, even when they understand it will impact conversions. If you choose to work with those clients, you’ll just have to accept that you’re being hired to give them a beautiful website, whether it converts or not.