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How to Use Colour on Your Web Site and NOT Get it Wrong!

by Nina Menezes

Imagine you are walking down a street and you see two women. One is wearing a brown dress and the other a bright red dress. Which one do you notice? The one in the bright red dress of course! That's how colour affects us.

How does colour affect us?
Besides text and graphics in a Web site, colours also play an important role. A Web site helps to communicate through the use of colours. Colours can portray positive or negative feelings. They affect our mood and will have an effect on our visitors as well because certain colours stir up certain emotions in our brain.

Warm and Cool Colours
Colours are either warm or cool. Orange, yellow and brown are warm colours. These colours are usually associated with fall. Warm colours convey cheerfulness and enthusiasm. Cool colours such as green, blue, pink and purple are peaceful and relaxing. They are more popular than warm colours.

Using Colours
Choose colors based upon the type of effect you'd like to achieve. Once you have chosen the colours for your site, use the same colours consistently throughout your site. Avoid using too many colours on your site as this will make your site look busy and confusing. Never use more colours than are necessary. Use light colours for backgrounds and darker colours for foreground text. Avoid using more than one dominant colour. Make sure the choice of colours for a site fits the intended content and the users’ expectations.

Colours and their significance

Red indicates danger. It stimulates the mind and raises blood pressure. Las Vegas is the city of red neon lights as it makes people gamble and take risks under the red lights. People working in a red environment work faster but they make more mistakes.

Blue is associated with peace and relaxation. Blues complement cool and pastel colours

Black is considered a heavy and depressing colour. Use of black as the dominant colour should be carefully considered.

Brown conveys stability, simplicity, and comfort. It can be considered a drab colour as well.

Green is easy on the eye; it has a calming effect. It is popular in hospitals

Gray is a very conservative colour and conveys practicality, reliability and responsibility.

Pink is considered a feminine colour.

Purple conveys spirituality, royalty and mystery.

Orange is a warm colour. Used in small amounts, it can make a site interesting and fun.

Yellow is an eye-catching and cheerful colour.

White is the colour of purity and cleanliness.

Colour Combinations
Using bright red and bright blue on your Web site is not a good idea! Trying to focus on both bright colours will strain the eye. A popular colour combination found on Web sites nowadays is a blue-and-white combination or different shades of blue. Blue represents peace, calmness and stability. People trust blue Web sites more. Using blue text will make people retain more information from your site. If you wish to convey royalty and elegance, use a combination of blue, purple, and white. See colour combinations for Web sites.

Visitors to your Web site form their first impression about your Web site within the few seconds. The right use of colour can make a visitor feel welcome, relaxed and comfortable - just like an inviting comfortable home! Don't let your Web site get lost in a maze of million Web sites. Use colours effectively to draw your customers in and entice them to buy your product or service.

Contact us to find out how to use the right colours for your Web site

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