Colour Psychology for your Website

You may not think that the colours you choose for your web pages matter, but as vision is our primary sense, these will have an immediate and immense impact on the mood and behaviour of the visitors to your site. If the colours on your website do not speak to the viewer in the right way it is much more likely to move on to another site.

The most successful companies, products, websites and blogs use colour psychology to create a distinctive brand, feeling and mood that is instantly recognizable.  Take a few moments to consider the world's most popular websites and how their colour schemes are instantly convey their identity. Websites relating to energy drinks, exercise and sports often use red or orange to suggest fast movement and energy, while natural foods and healthy cooking usually linked to orange or green. You can be sure that any time invested in getting your website colours correct will be richly rewarded in the long term. Here are some things to consider.

What colours are best for my website?

Colour is a universal language that in many cases can convey certain messages about who you are, your product or service, more quickly and successfully than words. As a colour psychologist I would recommend that you use a palette of natural colours for your website. These more muted tones convey quality and reliability. There is nothing more off-putting to most people than a garish or clashing colour scheme that suggests low quality and poorly thought out website and product.  This does not mean that you website has to look dull or boring.

First you need to choose colours that best suits your personality and the ethos of your business. Think of one or two colours that connect to the product, service or ethos of your site. For example, soothing blue and green would be great if you are a complementary health therapist, teacher or healthcare product.  Warmer tones convey energy and sociability, so these would be good for a creative activity or social club.

Darker shades of black, grey and navy would create a sleek, sophisticated and authoritative look for financial or banking services. As you can see, all it needs is a bit of thought and imagination, and you'll find something that works wonderfully for you.

What colour combinations are easy to read?

Some colour combinations are difficult to read on computer and mobile devices.  Make sure the contrast between the text and the background is good, so that it is easy to read. Black text on white is the easiest on the eye, but dark blue and dark purple also work well when contrasted against a pale tone.  Red text is easy to read when contrasted with a light blue or aqua. In studies colour psychologists have discovered that blue text is the most difficult to focus on, so rather stick to the cool colours for the background and not the text.  Yellow is also a colour to avoid for text unless you are contrasting it against a solid black background.

Colours create flow and consistency

When you have decided what colours to use on your home page, make sure you repeat these on the rest of your site. This helps reinforce your brand and helps the visitor better understand your ethos so they can build a personal relationship with you and your business. You can always add visual interest with colour photographs, logos and diagrams on different areas of your website.

Although it is best to keep your page style constant, colour can be of great assistance in helping your customers navigate around your website with ease.  Remember to present the information in a clear and simple way, so that the message you are trying to put across is easy to see and understand.

How to make your website accessible to all

Many people have visual impairments so make sure your website provides good disability access. Text should contrast well with the background colour, so it is best kept to keep it black, grey, dark blue or white (the last one if you have a dark background.)

The colours you use can often confuse people who find reading difficult because they are dyslexic. There are also others who are colour blind. The most common colour confusions are between red and green, brown and orange, blue and yellow and blue and purple, so it is best to avoid these combinations.

So, whether you are creating a new website or blog or updating an existing one, taking time to choose the right colours is a simple and effective way of ensuring that you speak directly to your customers and that they will be attracted to your product or services.

If you would like to find out more about how the colours in your environment, dress and diet effect and reflect your personality, mood and behaviour, contact the Iris School of Colour Therapy.

About the Author

Suzy Chiazzari is a leading colour consultant, colour therapist and stress consultant. She is the author of many books on colour and natural living and is the principal of the Iris School of Colour Therapy. 

Author: Suzy Chiazzari
Copyright © 2023 Suzy Chiazzari. All rights reserved

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