by anthony on 10/11/10 at 11:47 pm
Have you ever passed on a product because you didn’t like its color? Color affects the way we feel about products, but it can also affect the way we feel about websites.
Color combinations form the first impression users get when they visit your site. If your site uses colors that are easy on the eyes, they’ll invest time into exploring your content. If you don’t, they won’t give your content a second thought.
Saturated vs. Desaturated Colors
The key to choosing the right color combinations for your site is color saturation. Saturation is the amount of gray in a color. The more saturated a color is the less gray it has. The less saturated a color is the more gray it has.
Saturated colors are exciting and dynamic to the eyes. They attract a lot of attention and slow users down in their task. This is why they work best for buttons, links, alerts and notifications.
Use saturated colors only when you want users to pay attention to something specific. Using too many saturated colors is one of the most common mistakes designers.
Desaturated colors help ease task performance and efficiency because they soothe the eyes. It’s best to use them on headers, menus, and other background elements.
There’s a difference between desaturated colors in the tone they convey. Desaturated bright colors convey a friendly and professional tone. Desaturated dark colors convey a more serious and professional tone. The right color combination for your site will depend on your content and how you want users to perceive you.
A safe color to use with other colors is gray. Gray is a neutral color that won’t compete with saturated or desaturated colors. There are different shades of gray that can complement the colors of your site.
If your site uses cool colors, a gray mixed with a tint of a cool color would complement it. If your site uses warm colors, a gray mixed with a tint of a warm color would complement it. To add tint to your gray, increase the color saturation.
The color combinations you choose can affect the way users feel about your site. Don’t turn users off by using off-putting colors. Make the right impression by using color saturation on your site the right way.