Design—

Colorblind? Here are three easy steps to paint your user interface 

6 min

Color is the foundation of design. It can be help your brand stick out, or it could lead to clashing designs that turn customers away. How can you create a stunning interface with the perfect combination of simplicity and distinctiveness? With these three easy steps, you can better manipulate color to elevate your UI design. 

1. It’s a Simple 60-30-10 

What is the 60-30-10 Rule, and why should it dictate your interface’s palette? This simple formula will make your interface pop. The math is simple: 60% should be a dominant color, 30% should be a secondary color, 10% should be an accent color.

It’s the same system interior designers use when decorating an empty space. Imagine a completely blank family room. If you apply the 60-30-10 Rule, the 60% would be the walls, the 30% would be the couch, and the 10% would be decorations. 

When designing your interface, the process is identical. All you need is three colors. The 60-30-10 Rule will catch any user’s eye through both contrast and uniformity. 

The larger challenge is deciding which three colors to select. You should consider two important factors: Your audience and your product. 

2. Audience is Key

Gender plays a large role in color psychology. Depending on your target audience, you may choose different colors when painting your interface. Surprisingly, women aren’t pulled towards pink. For women, the most liked colors are green, blue, and purple. For men, the most liked colors are green, blue, and black. If your company is gender neutral, both blue and green are effective options. 

Age should also be taken into account when selecting your palette. In a 2001 study, psychology professor Marcel Zentner discovered that adults tend to be attracted to anything blue, while children prefer red. 

Don’t know which color suits your target consumer? When in doubt, pick blue. Blue is the ideal color that appeals to both genders and all adults consistently. Facebook, Twitter, Dell, Ford, HP, Boeing, Chase. Wherever you look, you’ll witness a myriad of companies with simple blue logos and interfaces. 

3. Complement Your Company

Each shade has a deeper, psychological meaning. In order to maximize the impact of your interface’s color scheme on the consumer, identify which colors match your product and its associated feeling. 

Red is energy, love, blood. Because of the extremities the color represents, red captures human attention. If you have many call-to-actions on your page, such as “Add to Cart”, or “Shop Now”, red is a great accent to draw customers in. This color also raises blood pressure, therefore making people hungry. Examples of food chains with red logos include Coca Cola, KFC, Chick-fil-A, Pizza Hut, and Wendy’s. If you’re in the food business, you can’t go wrong with red. 

Yellow is happiness, sunshine, growth. However, the color can easily overwhelm viewers. Too much yellow will distract, while too little lowers esteem. McDonald’s is a great example of the perfect use of yellow. The golden arches scream warmth and merriness, but the bright color doesn’t dominate the store’s advertising, which is mostly in red and white. Yellow is the 10% in McDonald’s 60-30-10 balance.

Blue is ocean, serenity, freedom. A popular choice, this cool toned color inspires loyalty and tranquility. Blue will attract nearly every audience and works for nearly every product. When in doubt, pick blue

Green is money, nature, healing. Various shades of green are known to make a strong background shade (the 60%) as the color seems natural and common. Companies with green logos often aim to promote a fresh, harmonious, and/or environmentally-friendly atmosphere such as Subway, Tropicana, Land Rover, and Starbucks. 

Purple is elegance, passion, precious. To establish luxury and exclusivity with your brand, use purple. The color is rare and unique, further supporting its glamorous symbolism. There are few large corporations that utilize purple, but some include Hallmark, Cadbury, FedEx, Roku, and Yahoo.

Black is authority, death, confidence. Adding a lack of color to your interface will intrigue and empower consumers. Black can complement many other colors as well, contributing more elegance to the design. Some brands that exude style and quality with black logos are Chanel, Adidas, Apple, Prada, The New York Times, and Nike. 

As they do in logos, colors will influence customers to stay engaged. Apply this same concept to your interface by strategically selecting a group of colors that complement your product/service. 

Final Thoughts

These three straightforward steps can help you gain a basic grasp of color. However, the world of color is endless, and remodeling your interface is no easy task. At Pixoul, we do the transforming for you, painting your interface with the utmost detail and creativity. After our services, no user will remain blind to the beauty of your interface masterpiece.