Using the Psychology of Color to Connect With Your Website Visitors

Color makes an impact. It doesn’t matter if you are male or female, young or old – color creates a positive or negative emotion in people. It can provide added value to your website or it can distract the visitor and degrade the overall experience. How you present color will make an impact.

Choosing the right color for your logo or website is a very personal decision. The key is to make this decision not just based on your personality traits, but that of your visitor. Knowing what will connect with your visitor is key to providing a positive web experience.

I’m Red and I’ll Always to be Red

A few years ago I had a client who said he loved me because I was “red”. He didn’t mean our company logo, instead he was referring to my personality. Kevin is an organizational coach and he uses personality tests within his consulting practice. My red personality showed him I was confident, focused, and a go-getter. During our yearlong relationship, Kevin would refer to me as “Red” in email and never once called me Rebecca.

When I looked up red personalities I realized he was spot on. The website I located listed a number of characteristics that defined a red personality type. I was all but one. That day I realized Kevin wasn’t just a super nice guy, he was excellent at evaluating people and using this information to help them succeed.

So What is a Red Personality Type?

Collette Morris lists the following characteristics for red type people: strong leaders, fast paced thinkers, risk takers, purposeful, drivers, strong-willed, less patient, obvious energy, formal overtly competitive, rational. Honestly I am all of these with the exclusion of overtly competitive. I used to be competitive, but over the years my children have mellowed me.

According to Collette, red personalities like me don’t like to waffle and they like to get to the point quickly without wasting time. My girlfriend Maria said the same thing about me, but she called me a square (not a circle like her who likes to chit chat). Maria was right. I am red and I am a square. I am direct, honest to the core, and I value efficiency, rational thinking, and the ability to take risk. It those characteristics that drove me to start our company in the heart of the recession.

Four Types of Personality Colors

  • Red – We discussed this one above. Red people are leaders who take ownership. They are fast thinkers. They like direct communication and they do not react well to fluff or sales pitches.
  • Yellow – Yellow people are sociable, expressive, and imaginative.  They are relationship focused and they like to socialize before jumping into business. My friend Maria, the circle, is a yellow.
  • Blue – Blue personalities are deep thinkers, analytical, detail focused, and systematic. They would react well to lots of detail, facts, and figures.
  • Green – Green people are relaxed and informal. They are social like the yellow group.

I will never be a yellow, blue, or green and I won’t be Maria’s circle either. It just isn’t who I am. I work well with other reds and I struggle with yellows. I can blend with blues and greens, but yellows and I are not going to be best friends in our work or personal lives. Maria is a friend, but because she is yellow and I am red, we cannot be best friends. Over the years I’ve realized clients are the same. I work well with other reds, greens, or blues, but yellows tend not to like me much because I cannot circle them and make them feel warm and fuzzy before getting down to business.

How Do You Use the Colors of Web Design to Connect to Your Website Visitor?

In website design we try to cater to multiple types of personalities. This applies to both color schemes and types of content.

Colors and Emotional Response

  • Red – Stimulates hunger and evokes emotion and a need to purchase
  • Yellow – Cheerful, young, communication
  • Blue – Calmness, focused, productivity
  • Green – Health, nature, and money

Colors Usage by Big Brands

  • Red – McDonalds, Wendy’s, Pizza Hut, Frito Lay, Coco Cola
  • Yellow – Best Buy, Ikea, Sprint
  • Blue – LinkedIn, Dell, JP Morgan, Ford
  • Green – Starbucks, Land Rover, Whole Foods

Additional Articles of Reference

Knowing who your target demographic is and designing a website to connect with them is vital for success. Knowing what colors they will respond to and what type of content they will like is the key to that connection.

Select the Right Color Scheme for Your Website

In web design I like to have three colors per scheme. While we use the client’s logo as a lead, we have flexibility with accent colors. Carla, our graphic designer, does a great job finding balance.

Sometimes we have clients who come to us with a logo that completely speaks to their brand and target demographic. Sometimes we receive logos that are just the opposite.

Carla does a wonderful job minimizing the logo color on the later, while accentuating the logo color when the color is perfect. If the logo color is well suited for the target market, Carla tends to use it as the dominant color. If the logo color is off, she uses it as an accent color. When I kick Carla off on a design project, I give her an overview of the client and their target demographic. This information is invaluable because it helps Carla make these types of judgement calls.

Sometimes the client agrees and sometimes not, but at least we do our part to steer them in the right direction. And Carla, bless her heart, will take the time to explain why one color is a better choice than another.

Let Us Help

If you’re planning on creating a new logo or redesigning your website, reach out to us. We are here to learn about your business and your target demographic. We will guide you through the mass of color options and help you select the right color scheme to satisfy your personality and that of your website visitor.