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 colours, 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 colours green and blue (which explains why Whatsapp, Twitter & Facebook uses it).
But does it mean that every colour 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 colours, check out the Color Image Scale by colour psychologist Shigenobu Kobayashi.
But the real question isn’t which colour converts the best, but rather which relative colour 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 colour choices on websites.
There are two types of colours – passive colors and action colors.
Action colours should only be used for clear and distinct call-to-action.
Passive colours 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 colour.
The action colours 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 colours make up your web design and builds your brand and action colours get clicks.
Keep in mind to ensure the action colours POP.
Don’t think that grey makes a great action colour when the rest of your site is black.
Be smart with your colours and get your clicks strategically.