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How to Choose a Color Scheme for Your Website

  •  6-2-2014

It takes the average visitor 50 milliseconds to form a judgment about a website. (tweet this) Since color forms a large part of the layout, design and graphics on a webpage, leaving color decisions to chance could significantly decrease the success of a website and its traffic. Here is how to construct an effective color scheme.

Ever wondered why businesses in the financial market prominently use blue on their websites? Why do gardening websites often use a green color scheme? Understanding color psychology and realizing that different colors have different meanings is vital for choosing an effective color scheme. Blue is a trusting and stable color; green is a calming, natural color that promotes eco-friendliness; yellow is an energetic and loud color. Red stimulates hunger, which is why it is often used in restaurants or for sale items. Black and purple are luxurious colors that are often used to advertise deluxe and expensive items.

What Colors To Use?

Color palettes for websites usually consist of three to five colors. Too many colors are confusing; too few colors are unappealing and dull. Choose one dominant color and use it for roughly 60% of the website design. One color should function as a highlight, and should be used for 10% of the website design. Add other colors as secondary colors for the remaining 30% of the website design. Above all else, color palettes must be clear and simple to maintain.

The intensity of the colors in a color scheme has an impact on the overall feel of a website. Bold and vivid colors, such as hot pink and florescent yellow, are exciting, daring, promote fun and attract attention. Softer and more neutral colors, such as light blue and beige, have a calming effect; they promote a friendly, lighthearted and homely appeal.

What Colors Work Together?

Some colors work well together and complement each other perfectly; some colors do not work well together and clash against each other. Basic color scheme models include monochromatic, triadic, and complementary. A monochromatic color scheme composes several different tones and tints of one solitary color. A complementary color scheme comprises two colors that are opposing on the color wheel. A triadic color scheme consists of three colors that are all equally spread out on the color wheel, such as red, blue and green.

Get It Right!

Getting a color scheme right takes not only knowledge of color psychology and good color combinations, but also experimentation. (tweet this) What works well for one website might not work well for another. These tips provide the foundation on which to begin to build a color scheme that works well for a particular website.

Photo by Capture Queen

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