Have you ever passed on a product because you didn’t like its color? Color affects the way we feel about websites, but it can also affect the way we use them.
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 grayer it is.
Saturated colors are dynamic and stimulate the eyes. They attract a lot of attention and can slow users down in their task. This is why they work best on elements that require more user attention, such as buttons, links, alerts, and notifications. Using saturated colors on backgrounds or large elements can cause eye strain.
Desaturated colors help ease task efficiency because they soothe the eyes more. It’s best to use them on background elements that take up more screen space, such as menus, headers, and panels.
There’s a difference between desaturated colors in the tone they convey. Desaturated bright colors convey a more friendly tone. Desaturated dark colors convey a more serious 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.