Incorporating colour in UX Design
May 2, 2020

Incorporating colour in UX Design early on

Incorporating colour in UX Design is vital for creating impactful user experiences. Explore its psychological impact and enhance your design strategy.

Incorporating colour in UX Design – UX is in a never-ending space. How many designers approach the user experience has a constant change as technology is always advancing and users respond very well to those advances.

It’s easy to think of UX as something new to web design, but user interaction, wireframes, and prototyping have been a part of the design industry for websites going as far back as I can remember (about 1998).

There has not been a time that one can recall where a designer has opened a design software and automatically started their web design process. It is very unlikely without the true knowledge of what your audience’s needs are, what the client wants to convey, or the fact that the trends, influential technologies and user behaviour are forever changing.

There is more to it than that. A web designer needs to understand the psychology of UX.

Understanding what pulls and motivates people to do what they do is one of the most important skills you can have as a designer. Beneficially the best candidate for a UX Position may just be someone that has a background in psychology, a psychology degree, with the education and training to identify and understand human interactions, motivations and needs.

It is old news that companies pay big for research into customer and buying insights. UX is no different. Companies need to generate revenue—and to do that, they need to understand user behaviour, so they can create better user experiences.

Which brings me to my next point…

Incorporating colour in UX Design

It still surprises me: Someone in a UX discussion will bring up design elements, and someone will respond, “We’re talking about UX, not colour and design.”

Wrong! Colour and design are a big part of the user experience. And here’s where psychology can provide some really useful insights. Numerous studies have focused on how people react to colour: how different colours makes them feel, what colours symbolise for them, how colours influence their behaviour.

In web design, red and green have become almost universally associated with these basic emotional responses:

  • Red: Stop! Something went wrong.
  • Green: Everything’s fine; please proceed.

We can use colour in many ways, depending on who we’re targeting. A study looked at people’s colour preferences by gender, age, and other variables. The study included a total of 232 participants between 15 and 81 years old from 22 countries (79% from the US).

Nearly half (43%) of all participants, regardless of gender or age, named blue as their favourite colour. However, purple proved to be polarising: it was right behind blue for women, but not a single man surveyed chose it as a favourite.

It’s clear that colour can play a role in decision-making, perception, and emotional response—and therefore it should play a big role in UX.

For that reason, I like to incorporate colour early on in my UX process. Laying out simple wireframe boxes just isn’t enough. At a minimum, critical response triggers (such as a response form) should be a part of your process once you’ve reached a high-fidelity stage.

But be careful to keep your client’s brand colours in mind—they probably won’t appreciate seeing them used to indicate anything negative. Need some expert help on how to incorporate colour in your brand? Reach out to our experienced design team and let’s see how we can help you stand out from your competitors.

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