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Five Absolutely Wrong Colours in Website Design

How can a colour be wrong? And what makes a colour right? While it’s true that all colours are beautiful in their own way and have particular meanings, they don’t all help your website design. The screens we’re using and the shades our brains find more comfortable or more suitable for our eyes are examples of things that we need to take into account.

Pure Black

Black is a timeless, classic colour. That’s not the case with pure black, which is very intense for the eyes. Besides, there is no pure black in nature, no matter how dark a certain shade of black might appear. That means our brains are not used to dealing with the #000000 shade, and thus visitors can close a tab without really ever knowing why. So, if you want to make your web design more pleasant and easy on the eyes, you should choose a darker shade of grey instead of pure black.

Red and Green

There are countless reasons why red and green should be avoided. For one, they’re to Christmassy, so they can easily be associated with the festive season, instead of with your brand. Basically, red and green take your brand out of the limelight and into the Christmas light.

Another reason is that those who are colour blind can’t differentiate them, so your web page design proves less effective for people suffering from deuteranopia.

However, considering that red is associated with “stop” or “no”, and green symbolises “yes”, you can use these colours for buttons, alerts or error messages.

Vibrant Colours

Neon colours are really appealing in print like illustrations and magazines, especially for building a retro image. However, they are really difficult on the eyes, and not particularly appropriate for screens.

These colours can be used by website designers with some success in the background to set the mood, but they’re not recommended for texts or other interface elements. These elements require legible tones and strong contrasts.

Pale Colours on Inappropriate Backgrounds

Pale colours are fine because they are subtle and help create strong contrasts which in turn direct people’s attention to key elements. However, a very common mistake nowadays is to place pale colours on the wrong sorts of backgrounds.

For instance, light on white is a definite no, considering that it doesn’t create a contrast at all. Another mistake is to use pale colours on detailed backgrounds, considering people will tend to focus on the busy background instead of the meaningful front element.

More Colour

While more colour is not technically a colour, it can easily be included as one for web designers who keep hearing this request from clients. While bright colours paint the picture of a fun brand and direct visitors’ attention, the association of different bright colours is difficult on the eyes.

As such, sharp colours should be used following the principles of minimalism.

In short, the use of colour is a poignant aspect of website design and a sore spot for many designers. The best website design manages to employ the entire force of colours instead of just using colours that pop.

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