If you’re reading this, it’s probably because you’re already aware of the impact colour psychology can have on our behaviour.

If I say ‘rage’, you’ll think ‘red

If I say ‘envy’, you’ll think ‘green

If I say ‘sadness’, you’ll think ‘black’, or possibly ‘blue

No rocket science so far.

What you really want to know is:

“How can website design use colour psychology to help my audience go from ‘consideration’ to ‘purchase’ more efficiently.”

In this insight article, we’ll answer that question.

As a website owner, you need to cater for the least patient audience member. If you can do that, you’ll have improved the user experience and customer journey for your entire audience.

Law of Common Region:
Using Colour to Simplify Website Navigation.


When we design user experiences or perform a website audit for clients, an important factor is measuring or improving visual navigation cues on the client website.

The UX Law of Common Region helps us do that.

In a nutshell, it says that:

Audiences visually group items on a page more easily when those items are held together by a clearly defined visual boundary.

The idea is incredibly simple. The effect is incredibly powerful.

For example, visualise the dots in the image below without the blue boundary lines.

Illustration of the UX Law of Common Region
Source: Wikimedia

Even though the dots outside of the blue boundary lines are closer together, you intuitively don’t associate them.

Instead, you associate the dots that are further apart as relating to the same group of items.

Now imagine that principle on your website.

Getting it wrong, or creating confusion in how you lay out items can mean the difference between a customer that finds what they need and purchases, and a website visitor that clicks back to Google to do business with a competitor.

It doesn’t have to be blue lines.

You can just as effectively use your brand colours to create solid block colour boundaries that group website elements together to improve user experience for your audience.

Brightly coloured blocks
Source: Snappy Goat

Colour and Conversion: Using Colour to Align with Mental Models and Industry Standards


UX colour psychology isn
’t about manipulating emotions. It’s about creating useful colour indicators that reflect your proposition and help the customer journey.

If your brand values fall into a specific industry category, it’s useful to mirror colours often used in those industries, because your audience will arrive at your website already familiar with what those colours mean.

Let’s dive into the spectrum and pull out some colour meanings.

Remember, the usefulness of these colours will depend on your existing brand colour palette. This is just a rough guide, so don’t go crazy.

The Psychology of Colour
Source: Vandelay Design

Red

It can mean love, danger or aggression. Use it tactically, and you can highlight customers actions they might want to take—this is why ‘SALE’ writing is written in red in shop windows. If you’re an ecommerce, insurance or fintech brand, red has many perks, though it may compromise uniqueness.

Orange

Less aggressive than red (though still loud), orange conveys loudness, fun action and activity—this is why travel and adventure sectors will often use it as part of their brand palate.

Green

It’s no surprise that green is used by ‘green industries’ to represent ‘growth’ or ‘abundance’. You’ll also see it used by health, wellness brands. If it fits with your brand colour palette, you might use lime green for vibrant, friendly CTA buttons people want to click.

Purple

Purple is one of the more ‘trusted’ colours conveying quality, luxury, prestige, wealth and wisdom. If you’re outside of the niche or boutique industries that use them, you might want to apply purple on your ‘Meet the Team’ page or Careers page to communicate your expertise and reliability.

Blue

Blue is pretty much the go-to brand colour for any industry relating to water. No surprise there. Further than that, it’s used by the IT and tech industries because it communicates trust while also leaning towards a majority male audience. Fintech, ecommerce, and high-end insurance might play with light blue, which is associated with financial wellness.

Align With Colour Standards. Or Don’t! It’s Up to You.

Just because some sectors use specific colours customers expect, it doesn’t mean you have to blend in. Unexpected colours can also help you stand out from the pack.

It’s a tricky game to play, though. It’s about knowing what your brand is about and what your aesthetic needs to do align with and communicate you brand values to your audience.

If your brand ID is about being disruptive, then cause a scene. If it’s not, then be confident in following the industry trend to fit with customer expectations.

Whatever You Do, Make Sure Your Website Uses Colour to Help the Customer Get Through AIDA

AIDA = Attention, Interest, Desire, Action.

No matter what your website colours are up to, if they’re not contributing to helping the customer get from ‘attention’ (arrival) though to ‘action’ (conversion) as efficiently as possible, then your won’t find the pot of gold you’re looking for at the end of of your website rainbow.

If you’re unsure how well your website is doing its job, a website audit is the quickest and most cost-effective way of evaluating the health of your website journey.

Thanks for reading.