The psychology of colour for website design

Psychology of colour is becoming increasingly important for branding, eCommerce sites and website design. It is based on the idea that colours can affect the subconscious part of the brain, as all colours are inherently associated with emotions, and therefore by tapping into this information and emotions, you can subtly adjust a person’s behaviour.

This is incredibly useful for anyone wanting to invoke specific emotions in people as a way of encouraging them to act in a certain way, including signing up to email lists, registering with a new website or even buying items.

So what colour techniques can help different websites?

Don’t use vibrant colours

Any bold or vibrant colours are often associated with danger and violence. Animals use bold bright colours to signify that they are dangerous, venomous or poisonous, and this is an internationally recognised system that all species recognise. As such, vibrant colours such as neon green or red may be associated with danger, putting people off your website and encouraging them to leave before they follow calls to action.

Pastel blues calm readers

Any pastel colours are likely to be associated with calmness and put the reader into a relaxed state of mind. Blues are well known as being the best example of this, which is extremely helpful for health or wellness websites, and websites that want to promote general good feelings. Many NHS and independent healthcare websites will incorporate these colours into their backgrounds, so it's well worth considering if you want to evoke feelings of relaxation.

Light greens suggest nature and sustainability

Green is commonly associated with grass, and therefore nature, but is also likely to sustainability and the environment too. Any websites that are linked to nature, wildlife or the environment should incorporate different shades of green, to help make this connection solid in the readers’ mind. Pastel greens are an excellent choice, as they also help to relax the reader too.

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