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Color has numerous psychological effects on the brain. The choices a designer makes for a website can play heavily on the way the audience reacts to the site. Color invokes emotion through visual stimulation, and brings depth to design. Colors can even be audience specific, such as age or gender. It can be overwhelming to deal with at first but not to worry I have laid out five tips that will help you avoid any future color disasters. Look out for Part Two for five more.

10. No Clashing Colors

Avoid contrasting color combinations. Who wants to read orange text over a yellow background? Look at modern web trends, the majority of backgrounds, especially behind the content are white. This is because you get literally no clash between white backgrounds and darker color.

Infographics by KISSmetrics

9. Mind The Photography

Don’t neglect the photography on the site. If all of the images are displaying neon green frogs, use dark contrasting colors to complement and highlight the products. Also photography can add an incredible layer of depth to a website, especially in a hero banner. It can set the tone for the entire site so don’t be afraid to design a site around a photograph, even if the photo ends up changing. You may get a more organic theme out of it.

Infographics by KISSmetrics

8. Desaturate

One of the most common mistakes a new designer will make is over saturating colors and thinking that “brighter is better”. This is not to say go bright, but don’t go so bright that the bold colors end up clashing and are straining to the eye. Try desaturating the colors a bit and don’t forget to avoid using over saturated and brighter colors on light backgrounds, especially for content on your site or behind logos.

7. Know Your Target Audience

If you’re selling to an older crowd, try using more pastel and warm colors. If you are selling to a younger audience try using bolder, primary colors. Also be mindful of what is being sold. If you are designing a site for a bank, use regal colors. If you are designing a site for a child, use fun colors.

6. Don’t Use Too Many Colors

Times Square is one of my favorite places to go, but I don’t go very often. The reason being is the fact that it’s so busy, with marketing as well as pedestrians. Don’t make your website visitors feel this way or they won’t want to come back to your site very often, or may feel so overwhelmed with color that they never return. Make sure you pick a base color and three to four accent colors to use as a pallet resulting in a much more unified design.