Fred SchebestaTuesday, 11 September 2012 00:00
Fred Schebesta: Website Design - What Colours work well online?
I’m designing my website. What colours work well online?
This article first appeared on January 10th, 2011.
I’ve been spending a lot of time worrying about the colour scheme for my website. Ages, in fact.
What colours work well online (I’m an online gadgets retailer)? Do the colours even matter?
How do colours affect human behaviour? There has been a lot of research done on colours and how they affect humans but here is my crash course and the basic principles I use:
Consider some of those colours with your design.
What's important in selecting colours with a website?
I personally think that the colour of a website isn’t that important. If you just match up the basic emotion you want to communicate with a colour, just go with it.
In the gadget space a blue or green would be fine. I think the most important thing is more that your site makes sales and colour with a shopping site doesn’t make a big difference.
What does make a difference?
Make your products the hero without all the clutter
I think it’s crucial to ensure you make the products stand out and the website sit in the background. Some sites do the opposite.
They make a very loud site and the product sits inside in quietly in the corner. I prefer making the product huge and beautiful and own each page.
The products themselves are the whole reason why the user is on your site. Give them a huge dose of product and they are more likely to buy from you.
So when it comes to colours, make them less saturated so that the product images stand out more than the sidebar and top navigation colours.
More product images leads to higher conversion
Put in more images rather than less. This ties into the point I made before but again, the key here is that the colours of your site make your product images stand out more.
The higher converting eCommerce sites have images of the products at all sorts of angles. Check out tigerdirect.com – they take a photo of the product upside down, a photo of the ports, what’s in the box and anything else you might want to look at.
Compare these two displays, which one would you feel more comfortable buying from?
Blue text links make it easier
On the internet, when someone sees a line of text with a blue underline, they know it’s a link.
It’s how people understand and use the internet. Don't fight it and teach users new ways of navigating the internet.
They had enough trouble getting online and finding your website in the first place. Make it easy for your users by just making the links blue.
White background with black text
This is the easiest way to read a webpage. Reverse font sites are annoying and kill legibility.
I use grey text when I don't want someone to read something and just click the "apply" button.
The following are some sites that you might want to review. They are doing well in the Australian market and have already tested some colours:
Fred Schebesta is the founder of Australia's most popular credit card comparison website: Credit Card Finder. Fred's passion for financial comparison and helping Australian consumers save money let him to launch Home Loan Finder to compare home loans, and Savings Account Finder to compare savings accounts. You can follow him on Twitter @schebesta.
Ask Fred or any other StartupSmart mentor a question here.
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