The Psychology of Color in UI/UX Design: How to Use Color to Influence User Behavior?

Published on:
March 29, 2024

Remember that feeling when you see the warm colors of a greeting card? Now, recall a website you have visited where the color scheme was so warm and inviting that it made you want to know more about the company.

On the other hand, you could have come across websites and mobile applications that make you want to leave as soon as you log in because of how disorganized the content is and how discordant the color scheme is. 

Nobody is the same as you know how a design looks on a screen or in a physical medium. It’s influenced by color choices.

Colors are vital in UI-UX design. As developers explain, "A button's/CTA color preferences are two examples of design models whose color palettes can have a massive influence on user behavior & experience."

Thus, in this MarsDevs article, we'll explore how color plays a massive role in the design process & choices are created. So, let’s get started!

Why color psychology is needed?

Why color psychology is needed?

In marketing and user experience, colors are often used. It has a simple explanation: they stimulate our vision, which is directly linked to the brain, evoking feelings and responses immediately. 

Color psychology is used by certain businesses to sway their target audience since studies have shown that particular hues may evoke feelings. Here, we outline the several benefits of using color psychology in sales and marketing, as experts say - 

  • By using the right color combination, colors can make your website or design stand out by drawing the user in.
  • Visual aspects have a significant impact on people's purchasing decisions.
  • Color alone can be used by people to evaluate anything (a crucial point to keep in mind for companies and products).
  • According to research, magazine readers can distinguish full-color advertisements from black-and-white ones.
  • Just tweaking the advertisement's color can boost sales.  

According to psychologists, “A product's color impression may determine whether it is accepted or rejected by 60%.” Ultimately, an unappealing color palette might impact the user experience as low-level writing/a slow-loading site. 

Therefore, color psychology plays a significant part in UI/UX design. It's not just about aesthetics here; color psychology is a powerful tool that may boost emotional reactions, increase user engagement, and improve business KPIs like conversion rates and user retention. 

How color schemes can affect?

How color schemes can affect?

Good color harmony creates a visually harmonious and visually pleasant image for the viewer. Most UX/UI designers want to build an interface that has this harmony. Sadly, not all designers are endowed with the natural talent to perfectly and readily combine colors in their minds to create a magnificent harmony. Fortunately, there are color schemes that you can use to match & merge colors in UX/UI design to assist your design goals. 

Warm Colors (Red, Orange, Yellow)

Let's start with warm hues. Colors that conjure up images of sunshine & enthusiasm include reds, oranges, and yellows. These are the colors you should always use in UI/UX design to make people sit up and pay attention. 

Ideal for clicking on those "Subscribe" or "Play Now" buttons of your choice. A professional advice, "Don't overdo it. Users can get overloaded with too much of a good thing, and we don't want that."

Cool Colors (Blue, Green, Purple)

Let's now move on and focus on the cooler hues, such as purple, green, and blue. These hues offer the atmosphere of a serene woodland or tranquil sea. 

They work well to create a calm, concentrated atmosphere, much as how Netflix uses black to balance off its bold red components. These hues are your closest friends if you want to maintain your audience's calm and attention.

Neutral Colors (Black, White, Grey)

Lastly, let's talk about neutrals. Although they might not be as striking as a bright red or as soothing as a gentle blue, good neutrals nonetheless have more power. The unsung heroes who bring out the best in other hues are black, white, and gray. 

They work well as backdrops, for writing, or even to divide space. Neutrals also provide simple reading & navigation is a safe bet. In short, knowing the effects of warm, cold, and neutral colors goes beyond making things viewed aesthetically pleasing & making things viewed aesthetically pleasing. 

Making the user experience as engaging as possible requires carefully using emotions. Remember this the next time you're working on a web project: picking the right hue may make all the difference.

Applying Color to Designs - Best practices to know!

Let's look at some helpful techniques for incorporating colors into design projects now that we've covered color theory and the significance of understanding color psychology. As experts exclaim, “Designers are either linked with a certain brand or designing for a specific culture when operating on design projects.” Here are some best practices.

1. Follow brand and style guidelines:

1. Follow brand and style guidelines:

The first & most crucial rule while applying color is to follow the set criteria. A company's brand & style guidelines come into play while designing for them. Companies typically cling to a set color scheme.

The primary color in the design should mirror the company's identity, and the designers should ensure that the palette they have selected stays true to these hues. Using a monochromatic color palette is one method for focusing on brand identification. This tactic should be used sparingly to preserve the design's elegance.

2. Don’t forget the 60-30-10 rule:

2. Don’t forget the 60-30-10 rule:

A simple principle for developing color schemes that are harmoniously balanced and visually captivating is the 60-30-10 Rule. The concept is that 60% of the palette should consist of one color, which is usually something neutral in psychology and reality.

Thirty percent of the palette consists of another complementary hue. The remaining 10% of the pattern is then accented with a third color. With the help of this technique, designers may begin experimenting with non-traditional color schemes more easily without deviating from the accepted standards within a brand or industry. 

A design that otherwise falls within the parameters of what is typical of a specific firm might be elevated by adding a splash of an uncommon color. 

3. Ensure consistency

One of the most vital design concepts is consistency, which also plays a crucial role in color choice. Notably, choosing the ideal color scheme might be challenging with so many options available. Complementary and harmonious colors, however, can aid in addressing this issue.

The colors used by designers must be used consistently throughout the design. For instance, additional pages on a website should adhere to the primary theme if the homepage uses the red-orange color scheme.

Wrapping Up

In UX design, color is vital in determining user behavior and mood. Thus, a thorough understanding of color psychology and how it affects user behavior and emotion is crucial to designing user experiences that work. 

Designers can guide consumers through a design, elicit specific actions, and establish emotional connections by deliberately using color. When using color in UX designs, designers must carefully consider the intended emotional impact & the demands of the user. 

Designers can create digital products that are aesthetically pleasing and successful in reaching their objectives with these factors. Are you looking for help? MarsDevs can help! 

Contact us at MarsDevs & we would be happy to assist you with your UI-UX design!


  1. What is the color theory in UI UX?

In visual arts and design, color theory is a concept that describes how colors interact with one another and how combinations of hues may elicit particular emotions, moods, and behaviors.

  1. What is the UI color rule?

Simply, it states that the dominant or vital color should make up 60% of your design, the secondary color should make up 30%, and the accent color should cover 10% of your design.

  1. How do you use color in UX?

To make your UI/UX design understandable and accessible, contrast is crucial. For text, backgrounds, and vital components like buttons and links, use contrasting colors. To create a visual hierarchy, use color. The arrangement of things on a page to direct the user's eye is known as visual hierarchy.

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