THE BIG RED BUTTON! It must be that right?
What about ORANGE! Amazon uses that for their “Buy Now” buttons.
If these billion dollar companies use these colors, it must have been researched and tested right? RIGHT?!
Right. But that’s just half the picture.
Universally, both men and women are found to like the colors green and blue (which explains why Whatsapp, Twitter & Facebook uses it).
But does it mean that every color on your website must be a variation of green and blue? Of course, not.
For reference as to which type of emotions are triggered by which colors, check out the Color Image Scale by color psychologist Shigenobu Kobayashi.
But the real question isn’t which color converts the best, but rather which relative color converts the best.
To proceed, we need to first understand the Von Restorff effect, coined by the late German psychiatrist and paediatrician Hedwig von Restorff.
The Von Restorff effect also known as the “isolation effect” was result of a memory experiment where the participants were asked to remember a list of 10 items. The catch was that out of 10 items, 9 were in black ink and 1 was in blue ink.
The result? That one item in blue ink was recalled far more frequently than the 9 that were in black ink.
In other words, the Von Restorff effect predicts that that the item that sticks out as a sore thumb is more likely to be remembered than other items. Like a red umbrella in a sea of blue umbrellas.
What stands out gets clicked, what blends in gets ignored.
Common sense, right?
This applies to color choices on websites.
There are two types of colors – passive colors and action colors.
Action colors should only be used for clear and distinct call-to-action.
Passive colors are for other items such as headlines, body text, subheaders, etc.
Take for example:
This webpage uses black for their headline and body.
The “read more” buttons are in green and blue.
In this case, black is the passive color.
The action colors here are green and blue. PLEASE DON’T USE TWO DIFFERENT COLORS for this.
Use just one. It stands out a lot more and it also stands for “take action now” more clearly if you only use one colour.
Remember, passive colors make up your web design and builds your brand and action colors get clicks.
Keep in mind to ensure the action colors POP.
Don’t think that grey makes a great action color when the rest of your site is black.
Be smart with your colors and get your clicks strategically.