How Colors Influence Website Behavior

Color plays a significant role in website design and marketing. Colors influence our thinking, our decision making and impact our moods. Color is the number one influence in purchases for about 93% of people. Understanding how colors affect website visitors emotions can increase conversions and sales.

But not all colors are created equal. Shades of colors can have different meanings to people and colors have different meanings depending on what part of the world you are in.

We’ll take a look at a few of the colors and explore what emotions they influence in the US and other parts of the world.

Red

Red denotes: Energy, Excitement, Action, Adventure, Love, Passion 
  • It creates a sense of urgency and gets people to act which is why it’s effective with sales and call-to-action buttons. It’s one of the most useful colors to get people to buy.
  • It encourages appetite, so it’s used frequently in the fast-food sector, think McDonalds and Burger King.
  • Too much red on a web page can be overwhelming, so use accordingly. 
  • Pale reds aren’t easy on the eyes and dark reds are difficult to see text against.

On an international level, red means
JAPAN: Life, Fertility, Passion, Strength
INDIA: Purity, Love, Sensuality, Fertility, Beauty, Wealth, Power
CHINA: Good Fortune, Happiness, Celebration, Prosperity
EUROPE: Heat, Passion, Love
LATIN AMERICA: Caution, Danger

Orange

Orange denotes: Energy, Vitality, Excitement, Adventure, Creativity, Fun
  • It generates a feeling of warmth. It’s considered bright, light and fun, so good for non-corporate brands and a good option when targeting CHILDREN and young people. 
  • Orange paired with cool shades of blue can give a positive and exciting vibe.
  • It stimulates the appetite, so good for food brands.
  • We associate darker shades with autumn, which lends itself to earthy brands.
  • It works well for conversion elements such as call-to-action buttons.
  • And it’s a rare brand color, so it stands out on a page.
  • Orange has one of the strongest emotional effects of any color. 
  • It’s the least favorite color of women. 
  • Other hues like peach, rust and terracotta have broader appeal. If used too frequently, it can create a sense of anxiety. 

On an international level, orange means:
JAPAN: Love, Happiness, Courage
INDIA: Purity, Courage, Sacrifice
CHINA: Change, Spontaneity, Adaptability
EUROPE: Purity, Cleanliness, Good
LATIN AMERICA: Nature, Environment

Yellow

Yellow denotes: Happiness, Joy, Hope, Optimism, Creativity, Energy, Awareness, Warmth
  • It represents youthfulness and fun which makes it a good option for youth targeted businesses
  • It’s cheerfulness and playfulness can work for pet supplies and accessories
  • Like red and orange it stimulates hunger so good for the food industry.
  • It can be powerful when used alongside a darker color.
  • It’s a good accent color when used sparingly and for text that contains important information.
  • It’s not good for selling expensive items to men as it’s considered childish.
  • Avoid yellow to evoke safety and stability.
  • It’s not as good for call-to-action or other conversion elements.
  • Shades of yellow can look dirty while tints can challenge the eyesight.
  • Excessive use can turn customers off.
  • Like orange, if used too frequently can create a sense of anxiety.

On an international level, yellow means:
JAPAN: Courage, Nobility, Beauty, Refinement, Cheerfulness
INDIA: Peace, Happiness, Knowledge
CHINA: Nourishment, Royalty, Honor, Masculinity
EUROPE: Happiness, Joy, Quality
LATIN AMERICA: Mourning

Green

Green denotes: Nature, Spring, New Birth, Luck, Go, Environmental, Money
  • It’s a relaxing color, synonymous with healthy brands from pharmaceuticals to organic food.
  • It’s associated with healthy lifestyle so good for sites dealing with outdoor activities and sports themes.
  • It also means growth of power so good choice for money, military, banking and finance sites.
  • It’s frequently used for promoting environmental issues.
  • Site visitors often relate the color to positivity, relaxation, safety and harmony leading to decisiveness.
  • Because of this and the “go” meaning, it’s a good color for call-to-action buttons.
  • And it’s the easiest color for the eyes to process.

On an international level, green means:
JAPAN: Youth, Eternal Life
INDIA: Hope, Nature, Virtue, Happiness
CHINA: Youth, Birth, Desirability
EUROPE: Nature, Confidence, Fertility
LATIN AMERICA: Environment

Blue

Blue denotes: Trust, Loyalty, Authority, Conservatism, Peace, Calm
  • It provides a sense of dependability and security making it a good color for banking, insurance, airlines and auto manufactures.
  • It’s useful as a conversion element for sites that deal with insurance and finance as it can help eliminate fears.
  • It’s also the color of reason, strength and wisdom and has a very calming effect on the mind which is why it’s so widely used.
  • It’s the favorite color for both men and women across all age groups.
  • They’re no natural blue foods in nature which is why it suppresses the appetite, so not good for use on food sites.

On an international level, blue means:
JAPAN: Calmness, Purity, Fidelity
INDIA: Determination, Love, Truth
CHINA: Immortality, Femininity, Healing
EUROPE: Truth, Responsibility, Fidelity, Serenity
LATIN AMERICA: Hope, Health, Wealth

Purple

Purple denotes: Royalty, Spirituality, Wealth, Luxury, Calm, Wisdom
  • It lends itself to brands that want to position their offer as prestigious
  • It’s used for selling jewelry, beauty and fashion products and is a good choice for financial and educational businesses that want to give a sense of status and academic brilliance and wisdom
  • It represents a creative, wise and imaginative brand, product or service
  • It stimulates the problem solving area of the brain helping us make intuitive, insightful observations. 
  • Shades can be quite moody while tints can be used for femininity.
  • Excess and extravagance are also associations, so tread carefully.

On an international level, purple means:
JAPAN: Wealth, Royalty
INDIA: Wealth, Grandeur
CHINA: Love, Romance
EUROPE: Royalty, Luxury, Power
LATIN AMERICA: Mourning, Death

Pink

Pink denotes: Love, Romance, Femininity, Babies, Nurturing, Sweetness
  • It’s a playful color in design.
  • We think of pink as innocent and cheerful.
  • Without a doubt it’s the most widely used color to market products to women and young girls.
  • It’s often used for beauty and cosmetic products.
  • It’s a positive color inspiring comfort and representing hope, and has been used successfully in many industries to break the mold
  • Dark pinks have similar effects to red while pale pinks are more soothing.
  • It can be an impactful color to give youth to a formal brand.
  • It can appeal to men because it exudes kindheartedness, romance and love.

On an international level, pink means:
JAPAN: Femininity, Youth, Good Health
INDIA: Femininity, Nurturing
CHINA: Good Fortune, Happiness, Celebration, Prosperity
EUROPE: Delicate, Serenity, Femininity
LATIN AMERICA: Happiness, Prosperity

Brown

Brown denotes: Comfort, Stability, Practicality, Wholesomeness, Earthiness
  • It’s a good color for wood, leather and chocolate products, and works well for home decor sites.
  • It’s also good for eco-friendly and natural food products.
  • It’s a strong, dependable color which can be reassuring to visitors, and known to create feelings of comfort and relaxation.

On an international level, brown means:
JAPAN: Earth, Strength, Durability
INDIA: Mourning
CHINA: Earth, Nature
EUROPE: Masculinity, Earth, NatureLATIN AMERICA: Nature

Black

Black denotes: Elegance, Sophistication, Formality, Power, Control
  • It’s a powerful color which is synonymous with luxury and masculin products
  • We think of black as sophisticated, particularly with clothing
  • It works well for technology, electronic devices, computer supplies, or any other tech products
  • The addition of a bright color with black can add energy to sophistication.
  • It’s best used in moderation as it can be too imposing and often overwhelming.
  • For online stores, it’s best used as a background element that allows other, more converting colors to stand out.

On an international level, black means:
JAPAN: Mystery, Anger
INDIA: Laziness, Anger, Intolerance
CHINA: Trust, High Quality
EUROPE: Formality, Elegance, Sophistication
LATIN AMERICA: Sophistication, Authority, Formality

Finally, here’s a few interesting color facts:
  • Blue is the favored color by both men (57%) and women (35%),
  • Women prefer tints (lighter colors) while men prefer pure or shades (darker colors).
  • Colors women like the most: blue, purple, green
  • Colors women hate the most: orange, brown, grey
  • Colors men like the most: blue, green, black
  • Colors men hate the most: brown, orange, purple
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