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Did you know that colour can have a real psychological effect on people?

The city of Glasgow set up blue lighting in a selection of neighbourhoods and reported a decrease in crime rates, likewise, Japanese railway company Keihin Electric Express Railway Co. set up blue lighting on train station platforms to deter suicides. Although no scientific tests have been conducted, according to an article by John M. Grohol, Psy.D, there have not been any suicides reported since their installation.

If colour can effect behaviour, it can certainly be applied to marketing in general and specifically your website. This post will explore the why and how of Colour Psychology in web design.

THE BENEFITS

The right colours build positive emotion in your visitors, thus increasing the chance of conversion.The Logo Company put together a great infographic showing the emotions that different colours invoke. Although opinions vary as to the exact meaning expressed by each colour, charts like this can be very useful.

Color Emotion Guide22

THE PROBLEM WITH COLOUR PSYCHOLOGY

As I just mentioned, some will disagree over what colours fuel what emotions, and there is a good reason for this. It is nearly impossible to objectively test the effects of individual colours because the effect they have is the result of a mixture of natural psychological responses and learned cultural meanings.

For example, in western cultures, black is the colour of mourning and funerals, whereas in eastern cultures the colour for mourning is white.

This means that while we can make an educated guess as to what will work the best, there is only one way to know for sure…

HOW TO MAKE COLOUR WORK FOR YOU

Your target market is unique. You know that green button that worked for your friend? There is no guarantee it will work for you. There are no universal rules, so we must test!

Charts like the one above give us a good starting point, but if you really want to know what works best, you will need to setup an A/B test. Try several colours and measure your conversion rate to see which colour results in the most sales.

Even though we may not be able to objectively analyse what emotions the colours create, we cananalyse what colour works best for a certain audience.

WHAT COLOUR WORKS FOR YOU?

Do you know what is already working well for you? Tell us below, or if you want any more information on the topic, just ask!