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Role Of Color Psychology In An App Design

September 2, 2017 |
Color Psychology

It’s tough for even great psychologists to really understand the human brain. It never fails to amuse and pops unanswered questions every now and then. Sometimes there is simply no reason or logic for a particular human behavior triggered through the brain. Talk about the color psychology. Interestingly, the human brain is more capable of noticing and remembering not so pleasant sights as compared to beautiful things. Let’s connect this attribute with visuals (basically app visuals). It basically means that the human brain will surely notice an ugly design or color scheme over a decent one and will most probably remember it. Colors used in an app form the basis of its visual appeal. If you get your color scheme correct, well and good. However, if you screw it up, then it can ruin even the most functional app.

Why Are Colors So Important?

Believe it or not, colors play a vital role in driving your emotions while using an app. Whenever we use any application there is a motive behind using it. It may be for financial transactions, entertainment, making reservations, checking scores etc. All these motives have a string of emotions attached to them. The color scheme of your app can either fuse with these emotions or may cause a negative impact towards these emotions.

Picking up an ideal color palette can be the game changer for your app. The color scheme, if picked up correctly can soothe down human anxiety, help them to relax, evoke happiness, calm down senses and can result in many other positives. On the other hand, if you mess up with the color scheme it can even provoke your user to bang the phone on the wall.

Here are a few colors and the emotions attached to each one of them:

White – Pure and simple, clean.
Black – Blunt and powerful, minimalist.
Red – Intense and important, focused.
Yellow – Energetic and positive, optimistic.
Blue – Calm and relaxed, trusted.
Green – Profitable and natural, earthy.
Purple – Luxurious and regal, trendy.
Orange – Bright and cheerful, childish.
Pink – Romantic and loving, feminine.

The Theory of Colors

The subject of colors does not top the charts of complexity but still demands a basic understanding. The basics of color scheme can be best understood through a color wheel. There are 3 primary colors – Red, Yellow, and Blue which can be mixed to bring out secondary colors – Green, Purple, and orange. White (in various proportions) is used to create tints and Black is used in various proportions to create shades.

theory of color

There are certain pre-defined standard color schemes which are most commonly used.

1. Monochromatic

As the name suggests, monochromatic color scheme refers to the use of a single base color. Monochromatic colors work well in creating a soothing and calming effect. It also portrays a neat, simple and clean design.

qatarairwaysImage:Qatar Airways

2. Analogous

Analogous color schemes are created from related colors that are not completely opposite to each other. One of the colors is used as a dominant color while others are used to enhance the scheme. This scheme is quite easy to pull off as compared to other schemes. The only trick is in deciding which vibrancy of color to use, as it will be exaggerated.


3. Complimentary

This color scheme uses opposite colors to complement each other in a design. The opposite colors contrast each other very strongly and that grabs eyeballs instantly. When using a complementary scheme, it is important to choose a dominant color and use its complementary color for accents. For example, when the human eye sees an object full of different hues of greens, a bit of red stands out very well.

4. Custom Color Scheme

It’s not really mandatory to stick to one of the aforementioned color schemes. There is every possibility that the nature of your app and the persona of your brand may demand a different color scheme altogether. Customizing your own color scheme is not rocket science and can easily be adapted. Adding a bright accent color to an otherwise neutral palette is one of the easiest color schemes to create. Having said that, it’s also one of the most visually impressive.

Adobe Color CC, previously known as Kuler is your savior while deciding color schemes. It makes color selection extremely easy. Each and every color on the palette can be individually modified or selected as the base color with a few clicks only.

Your Color Scheme Must Reflect Your Brand’s Image

The standard color schemes act only as a guide while choosing the color scheme for your application. The most important thing to remember during this process is that the colors should speak the language of your brand. Your brand name, goal, objective, and persona must all be reflected through the colors. Every academic study conducted on this topic supports the argument that it’s very important for the brand’s color to support and co-relate to the brand’s personality. The focus must be purely on the brand image and the selection of colors must run primarily around it.

Colors have a decisive impact on user behavior and their emotions. If your design philosophy isn’t taking this into account, you are making a big mistake. You may not need to be strictly abiding by the common color scheme standards, but you cannot neglect the importance of colors in the overall user experience process. Be brave, play around with different shades, tints, and color combos. Never stick with one combination and try different combinations. You can perform an A-B testing using different combinations. Talk to our team and get enlightened about how you can improve the user experience by implementing the perfect color scheme in your app design.

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