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5 Basic principles for using colour in web design

20/07/2015
Cameron
Cameron

Before you start splashing colour all over your website, there are a few rules to apply. Following these will enhance your visitor experience and reduce your bounce rate. You can use colour to your best advantage by adhering to certain principles, which will make the most of your site’s features. Here are just a few basic principles to consider implementing within your website design.

Complementary colours are easy on the eye

Complementary colours are those which sit next to each other on the colour wheel, for example a spectrum made up of red, orange and yellows or a series of cool colours like blues and greens. These create a gentle combination to look at, although choosing colours that are too similar can leave you with content that cannot be read clearly.

Contrasting colours for impact

Contrasting colours can be extremely difficult to read and bright contrasts can cause a higher bounce rate as it looks unpleasant and overwhelming and can lead to eye-strain. However contrasting colours do have their uses. They are extremely effective at highlighting and drawing attention to specific areas of your website, such as a bright call to action, which provokes a response from the reader. Typically the best websites use dark text colours on light backgrounds to make it clear, readable and keep it simple. Use contrasting colours sparingly to draw the reader’s attention to key messages and encourage a higher click through rate CTR.

Using a vibrant design to your advantage

Your use of colour affects the emotional response of the visitors to your website. For example, greens and blues dictate calm emotions compared to bright colours which encourage an energetic response. An interesting example of this is used in newspapers where the header is red. This evokes strong emotions in the reader which they can then apply when reading the rest of the content.

The power of three

Triadic colour combinations are some of the most popular choices for website design as they can choose equally contrasting colours and complement each other the most effectively. However a general best practice rule for website design is to choose 3 analogous colours. This means choosing 3 colours next to each other on the colour wheel, from the same spectrum, which are different vibrancies and brightness in order to contrast sufficiently to maintain clarity of text and content.

Choosing colours that are right for you

Of course what it ultimately comes down to is which colours convey your brand effectively. If you have a long-established logo then you will want to incorporate those colours into your site to keep a consistency and brand recognition.

For more website design advice, get in touch with the Geeks team today.

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