Dominant Colors of Common Website Qualities

by on 07/26/12 at 2:30 pm

Choosing colors for your website is no easy task. With so many colors and color combinations to choose from, where does a designer begin? The color of your site is important because it influences how users feel about your site. Choose the wrong color, and you’ll repel users from your site. Choose the right color, and you’ll attract them to use your site. To find the right color, you have to know what qualities you want your site to exude. Then you have to know the dominant colors that are strongly associated with those qualities.

Joe Hallock’s research revealed that there are dominant colors that people associate with common website qualities. Here’s a list of the dominant color for each quality based on his research. Knowing these color/quality associations will help you choose colors that make users feel what you want them to feel when they visit your site.

Trust

If trust is an important quality you want users to feel when they visit your site, then use the color blue.

Dominant Colors of Common Website Qualities

Security

Blue is also associated with security. This makes sense because both trust and security relate to safety. If your site deals with sensitive content, use blue to make users feel safe.

Dominant Colors of Common Website Qualities

Reliability

It’s no surprise that blue is also associated with reliability. Trust, security and reliability all fall under the same emotional umbrella.

Dominant Colors of Common Website Qualities

Fun

If your site involves games and entertainment, use orange and yellow on your site to evoke fun.

Dominant Colors of Common Website Qualities

Inexpensive

If your site sells things on the cheap, orange and yellow are colors that will help make users feel that your products are inexpensive.

Dominant Colors of Common Website Qualities

High Quality

Use a lot of black on your site if you want users to feel that the products you sell are high quality to justify the price.

Dominant Colors of Common Website Qualities

High Tech

Use the colors blue and black if your site focuses on high technology.

Dominant Colors of Common Website Qualities

Speed

Use red on your site if you want users to feel that you deliver a fast service.

Dominant Colors of Common Website Qualities

Courage

Use purple and red on your site if you want to reassure users of a cause you’re fighting for.

Dominant Colors of Common Website Qualities

Fear

Rarely do websites want their users to feel fear. Avoid using this color combination unless you want to scare your users.

Dominant Colors of Common Website Qualities

Cultural Differences

Color associations vary greatly depending on the culture. These color associations do not account for cultural differences. They’re a guide for finding the right colors to use on your website. This does not mean that using these color associations will give you a successful website. But it does mean that there’s a strong link between colors and website qualities. You can take advantage of that by choosing colors associated to qualities you want your website to represent.


Dominant Colors of Common Website Qualities Dominant Colors of Common Website Qualities

Author and editor-in-chief of UX Movement. Loves great web experiences and fights for the user.

4 Responses to “Dominant Colors of Common Website Qualities”

  1. Daylan Pearce

    Jul 27th, 2012

    There’s an irony to the dominant colour of Facebook being largely associated with Trust & Security.
    Interesting stuff though.

  2. David Stanke

    Aug 1st, 2012

    I’ve used a lot of green lately on a few different kinds of sites. I don’t see it listed here, so I’m curious: what does green convey?

  3. Lindsey

    Aug 2nd, 2012

    Very interesting. Here is a great blog about design elements influencing viewers perception. There is a link to a great infographic with descriptions of what colors (like green!) mean in web design. http://apog.co/3Qe

  4. simon

    Nov 2nd, 2012

    Hey, really interesting post.

    Whilst i’m not a designer I tend to get a bit of a feeling about which colours are right for certain websites. What’s funny is that it matches quite closely to what you’re laying out here. A happy coincidence!

    Thanks for the post – very informative.

Leave a Comment