The Psychology of Color and Its Impacts on Web Design Feauted.jpg

The Psychology of Color and Its Impacts on Web Design

The colors you choose for your website have an impact on how it looks and how it feels.

With a DIY website builder, like the one you’ll find with us at Websites 360®, anyone can build a beautiful, functional website. However, there are a lot of ins and outs to building a website that many business owners don’t even think about, and one of those is the psychology of color.

Color does more than just affect how a website looks; it affects how people feel when they visit your website and the decisions they’ll make. In fact, one study found that, by adjusting color (as well as changing other elements), you can increase conversion rates by up to 24%!

The role of color in the buying process

Understanding just how powerful color is for the success of your website means understanding how people make purchasing decisions and how our brains process color.

The part of the human brain that processes color is called the hypothalamus, which then sends signals first to the pituitary glands and then to the thyroid glands, which release hormones that impact our emotions, moods and behaviors.

People will make a subconscious decision about a product after only 90 seconds of looking at it, and much of that subconscious assessment — 90% in fact — is based on color.

Did you know that almost 85% of shoppers cite color as the primary reason for purchasing a specific product, and that two out of three consumers say they will forgo buying a major appliance if it doesn’t come in the color they prefer? Furthermore, an ad in color will be read 42% more often than the same ad in black and white.

Color also has the power to increase brand recognition by up to 80%, which has a direct impact on consumer confidence.

What different colors mean and when to use them


Blue evokes intelligence, dependability, safety, trust and security, which helps to explain why it’s such a popular color in the marketing world. Blue is also seen by many as relaxing and soothing, but can also be seen as a sad color.

Different shades of blue also evoke different emotions and meanings. For example, using a more vivid blue can add more credibility; whereas, using a softer blue can help to relax your visitors.

Blue is the most common color you’ll find in an office, because it’s said to increase productivity.

Some examples of brands that have used blue effectively include Walmart, Oral B, Facebook, Lowe’s, Dell and American Express.


Green is associated with health, tranquility and nature. It represents new growth, and it’s said to symbolize money and fertility. Using green in your marketing campaigns can help to reassure potential clients and customers. Because green sits in the middle of the color spectrum, it can also be used to create a more balanced look and feel.

The shade of green you choose can also make a difference in the design of your website, with lighter greens representing fresh and innovative ideas.

Some examples of brands that have used green effectively include John Deere, Whole Foods, Starbucks and Tropicana.


Yellow evokes warmth, cheerfulness and optimism, and it’s used to stimulate the nervous system and mental processes, creating a sense of excitement. Yellow is also closely related to warnings because it grabs attention. Think about the use of yellow in warning signs, like wet floor signs and traffic signals.

Brands utilize yellow to create a more playful, approachable and friendly feel, but be careful not to use too much yellow, as it can quickly become overwhelming to the eye.

There are many brands that have used yellow to great effect in their branding, including McDonald’s, Best Buy and Ikea.


Orange is associated with enthusiasm, excitement, optimism and warmth, and it’s used to denote a friendly, confident and cheerful brand. Since orange is associated with fire, it’s also used to create a sense of passion.

Orange can be used to encourage impulsive buyers to make a decision, but be careful not to overdo it when you use orange, as it can also signify aggression if used inappropriately.

Some of the brands that have utilized orange successfully include Nickelodeon, Amazon, Harley-Davidson and Payless.


Red, like orange, is a color that signifies passion, urgency and immediately draws the attention of visitors. Red has been closely linked to love, joy, intensity and strong emotion.

In marketing, the sense of urgency that red helps to create is used to prompt people to act right away — think clearance sales — and to convey a sense that shoppers will be missing out if they don’t act.

The downside of using too much red is that it’s also associated with danger, violence and jealousy. Make the most out of using red by lighting the mood with the right kind of imagery and copy.

Brands that utilize red include H&M, CNN, Lego, Pinterest and Coca-Cola.


Purple is associated with wealth, wisdom, success and royalty. Purple has also been closely linked to femininity, elegance and luxury.

When you use purple in your marketing efforts, it helps to create a sense of calmness and soothes the senses. It’s not uncommon to find lots of purple in branding for anti-aging products and beauty products.

Yahoo!, FedEx, Lady Speed Stick and Monster are just a few brands that utilize purple effectively.

Not only do the colors you choose greatly impact how your site looks; they play a huge role in how your site feels and the kind of emotions it evokes in your visitors.

The importance of using the right colors to support your message can’t be overstated, and I hope this blog will help when making those important design decisions. If you’d like help getting the psychology of color right when designing your website, learn more about what our designers can do for you!

Originally published on 2/26/20