Colors Associated with Common Website Qualities

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 need to know what qualities you want your site to exude. Then you need to know what colors users associate with those qualities.

Joe Hallock’s research revealed there are colors that users associate with certain website qualities. Here’s a list of the dominant colors associated with each quality based on his research. Knowing these color/quality associations will help you choose the right colors for your site.


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


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.


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


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


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

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.

High Tech

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


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


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


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

Cultural Differences

Color associations vary 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 with qualities you want your site to exude.



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This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. Daylan Pearce Reply

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

  2. David Stanke Reply

    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 Reply

    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.

  4. simon Reply

    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.

  5. Samuel Rix Reply

    Very interesting post, I am an Illustrator and Designer and have looked into the psychology of colours for a while. I am noticing more and more blue websites or variations of blue, it is a very corporate and sophisticated colour. I am also noticing a lot of black websites but it all depends upon the style and professionalism of the design. I have seen some very low quality black websites in my time.

    • Arthur Wilson Reply

      Interesting that blue covers so many bases. Pink has recently become a primary design and brand colour as well – be interesting to hear your perceptions of what pink signifies for a website?

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