Choosing the Right Color for Your App

The famous painter Pablo Picasso once said – Colors, like features, follow the changes of emotions. All of us have, at one time or another, felt the effect that colors have on our mood, feelings and emotions. Color psychology, they call it. And although there is far too little hard evidence or research done on the real effects of colors, color psychology has become somewhat of a hot topic in marketing. We talked to our designers about their experiences and we bring you some advice on choosing the right color for your ShoutEm app.

Ever wondered why some online visuals are in red? What would attract you first – a white “Buy today” button or a red one? Did you know that 92,6 % of people say that the visual dimension is the number 1 factor affecting their purchase decision? Another interesting study found that magazine readers recognize full-color ads 26% more than black and white ads.

There is a whole other philosophy about colors and their effect in modern day marketing. We have written about how to design an iPhone app icon and now we would like to talk to you about what color would work best with your new ShoutEm app. We’ve discussed it with two of our designers – Siniša Cvahte and Marko Stupić, and they have given us some insight into how to choose the right color for your app and what to watch out for.

What is the most important element of your app?

We were wondering at what pointers a first time app builder needs to have in mind. “In case of visuals, one must make sure that they are big enough and well aligned with other app elements. Be sure to check your changes in real time – on your phone. And as for colors, if you are new to app design and colors in general, there are a lot of useful links, such as Colourlovers.com, that you can check out before you choose the right color for your app” says Siniša.

Marko agrees, pointing out the best and simplest way you want to present what your application stands for: “Get your visuals down to a minimum and focus on the most important element of your app. And of course, make it user friendly!”

How to get inspired?

If we look at what’s popular now in the online world, we will notice a flat approach to design. “Flat design has been getting more and more popular, and now there are colors that match that design called pastel colors.” But if you get lost in the vast sea of colors, Marko suggests Color Expert – a cool iPhone app that can help you get that much needed inspiration. Dribbble.com is also a great helper when choosing new, popular colors for you app.

The psychology of colors and how they relate to persuasion is one of most interesting aspects of marketing and yet there is far too little data on how that really works. One research shows the idea that the colors yellow and purple can cause certain kinds of emotions is accurate as a Tarot card reading.

color

But one fact remains the same – even though colors play a large and important role in purchases and branding, the effect is too dependent on personal experiences. In another interesting study called Impact of Color in Marketing, researchers found that up to 90% judgments about products are based solely on colors. Having that in mind, the relation between brands and colors now relies on perceived appropriateness for the color used by a brand – in other words, does the color fit with the product being sold?

Strong colors versus neutrals

Both Siniša and Marko agree in the same manner – the color must follow the brand or the product itself. “For instance, if the app is about chocolate, I will definitely use the certain shades of brown or other colors that could correlate with what the app represents.” Marko adds.

Siniša advises to stay in the range of neutral colors so you can emphasize content first, especially if you are making an app for sales and business arrangements.

Digging into the subject even further, we came across an interesting infographic from KISSmetrics with some insights on color use for a website or an app. The research says that if you are building an app that mainly targets women, you should consider blue, purple and green colors. Avoid orange, brown and gray as they are stated as the least liked colors by females. Men on the other hand love blue, green and black but hate orange, brown and purple.

An interesting color test was conducted by HubSpot when they wanted to find out if a simple color change of one button could impact conversion sales. The result was very surprising. Changing only the color of the button titled Get started now! from green to red, and everything else on the page being completely the same, it was discovered that the red button outperformed the green one by 21%.

Brand’s color and brand’s personality

Based on further research on colors and branding, almost all academic studies agree that it’s far more important for the brand’s color to support and co-relate with the brand’s personality. The feeling, mood and image that the brand creates play a role in persuading the user to buy. Colors play a role when they are used to match the brand’s image with the product. Marko mentions Apple and their love of clean and simple design – the appropriate color for their message is white.

One thing stands clear – there are no clear sets of guidelines for choosing the right color for your brand, website or an app, but your focus must be on the brand itself! Follow the brand or app image, and the color will come to you!

Choosing the right color for your app - in a nutshell