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Christina Meador
Christina Meador

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The Psychology of Color in Design

UI Design isn’t just about making applications look pretty, and applying color theory to your design projects is no different. Using colors in a significant and meaningful way in your designs can make your interface more appealing, functional and efficient.

Color Theory is a set of disciplines, rules and teachings to guild your use of colors in the world of art and design. The theory is important in the field of UI Design because it focuses on both the visual and psychological aspects of a user. This theory teaches how colors enhance readability, to help connect with the user on an emotional level, as well as develop a sense of continuity and consistency.

Psychologically speaking, different colors elicit different emotions within a user:

⚫️ Black: This color signifies a mixture of elegance and strength or dominance. It is also considered timeless. Its commercial use can be seen in the gaming, design, and fashion industries, though it can be found in almost all industries if used in combination with other colors.

⚪️ White: The color of snow and doves, this color has a feeling of peace and purity attached to it. It also helps with concentration and to relieve stress of the user’s eye. This color is commonly used in the dairy, education, fashion, media, electronics and technology industries.

🔴 Red: The hallmark of this color is both is attribution to love and affection as well as its ability to signal danger. This color also has the capability to automatically draw a user’s attention. Common industries that utilize this color include food, entertainment, toys and games, transportation and housing.

🔵 Blue: This color is widely associated with skies, oceans, open spaces and freedom, which has a positive and serene effect on the user’s mind. This color can most often be identifies in industries including technology, finance, education, healthcare and banking.

🟡 Yellow: Many individuals draw similarities between the idea of “a ray of hope” with the color of the sun, which makes the color yellow generate positive feelings within a user. This color manifests a sense of positiveness in the mind and awakes the feelings of hope, liveliness which uplifts and illuminates the mood. Common industries that utilize this color include food, travel, children’s products and real estate.

🟢 Green: This color is often associated with Mother Nature, and is shown to leave a soothing effect on the brain. Green is also a symbol of growth and can draw a user into the surrounding environment. Industries that utilize this color often include organic foods, environmental agencies, real estate, farming and advertising companies.

🌸 Pink: This color is often linked to felinity, and endures a sense of comfort, or acts to generate a set of carefree and playful emotions. This color can often be seen used in industries such as beauty, women’s fashion, gifting markets and children’s products.

🟣 Purple: This color is very rare in user experience design, but is capable of uplifting the mode, showing power and prestige, and to create a sense of uniqueness within a user’s mind. This color is also often associated with royalty, and of premium quality. Common industries that utilize the color purple are the movie industry, beauty, women’s products and humanitarian enterprises.

🟤 Brown: This color is considered the “color of the Earth” and helps the mind relate to a solid rock foundation, in addition to relaying confidence and reliability in a user’s mind. Industries including real estate, construction, textiles and agriculture often use brown in their designs.

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