Tag Archives: color combination

choice of color in UI design

Color Matters. 6 Tips on Choosing UI Colors.

User experience design involves many processes which need to be done thoughtfully so that an interface would meet the needs of the target audience. Each step requires deep attention to details, even if it doesn’t seem too complicated.

 

One of the time-consuming still vital stages in UI creation is color choice. Designers sometimes can spend hours to pick up the right color palette. In this article, we’ll describe six useful tips helping designers choose powerful colors for UI and make this process easier and more productive.

 

Tip 1. Learn 60–30–10 rule

 

This rule, or technique, came from the interior design, so it is often applied for house decorating. The idea is simple. To bring the balance into the composition, the colors should be combined in the proportion of 60%–30%–10%. The biggest part should go to the dominant hue, the third of the composition takes secondary color and 10% percent goes to the color which helps to make the accents.

 

Such a proportion is thought to be pleasant for human eyes since it allows perceiving all the visual elements gradually. Knowing the appropriate proportion designers can successfully combine the colors without risks of turning UI into a colorful mess.

 

web_ui_design_tubik

Digital Agency Landing Page

 

Tip 2. Contrast is a friend

 

Color contrast is a key part of any visual composition. It brings the individuality for each UI element and makes all of them noticeable. User interfaces containing only shades from the same color family have fewer chances to draw users’ attention. Moreover, copy content in this UI will look illegible which make the interactions with a product almost impossible.

 

Designers control the level of contrast depending on the goals it is supposed to accomplish. For example, if you need users to pay special attention to the specific UI elements, it’s a good idea to apply two highly contrasting colors such as blue and red. High contrast is often used for CTA buttons design.

 

However, speaking of UI as a whole composition, high level of color contrast may not always work well. If copy content and the background colors contrast each other too much, it will be difficult to read or scan the text. That’s why designers are recommended to create a mild level of contrast and apply high contrasting colors only for highlighting elements. User-testing on various devices can help designers to make sure of the effectiveness of their solutions.

 

choice of color in UI design

Urban Sketcher App

 

Tip 3. Consider psychology of colors

 

As we’ve mentioned in our previous articles, psychology is one of the basic studies helping in design workflow. There is a branch of psychology showing the influence of colors on human mood and behavior called color psychology. It states that our mind reacts on colors while we usually do not notice it. When human eyes perceive a color, our brain gives signals to the endocrine system releasing hormones responsible for the mood and emotions.

 

Each color has its own influence on our mind and the knowledge of the possible reactions can help designers to transfer the right message and call users to make the expected action. Here is a short list of color meanings.

 

Red. It symbolizes both good and bad feelings including love, confidence, passion, and anger.
Orange. An energetic and warm color bringing the feelings of excitement.
Yellow. This is the color of happiness, the sunlight, joy, and warmth.
Green. The color of nature which brings calming and renewing feelings.
Blue. It often represents some corporate images. May be associated with distance and sadness.
Purple. Long associated with royalty and wealth. It’s also a color of a mystery and magic.
Black. It associates with a tragedy and death and signifies a mystery. At the same time, it can be traditional and modern.
White. The color means purity and innocence, as well as wholeness and clarity.

 

In addition, designers need to remember that visual perception is quite individual for everyone. Such factors as age and gender have a great impact on color preferences, so it’s vital to know the target audience peculiarities. You can find the detailed description of color meanings and preferences in our previous article.

dance academy landing page

Dance Academy Website

 

Tip 4. Don’t forget cultural differences

 

Each culture has its own traditions and beliefs, so before you choose the colors, you need to make sure that they will be interpreted the way you mean. The thing is that sometimes one color may have absolutely opposite meanings in different countries. For example, in European countries white color signifies purity and it is often used at the weddings while in many Asian countries this color means death and sorrow. Incorrect usage may lead to misunderstandings which could be fatal for a product. By acknowledging the specialties of culture’s color perception designers decrease risks of being misconceived.

 

Tip 5. Strive to color harmony

 
Harmony is what UI design strives to. To make users feel pleased and comfortable, designers try to bring the balance into user interface design. The color harmony is about the arrangement of the colors in design in the most attractive and effective way for users’ perception. Harmonic colors contribute to a nice first impression from the website or application.

 

After years of searching, designers distinguished the basic color schemes that work effectively. Let’s see what they are.

Monochromatic. Color harmony is based on one color with various tones and shades of it.

Analogous. The scheme applies colors located right next to each other on the color wheel.

Complementary. It is the mix of colors placed in front of each other on the color wheel and it aims to produce high contrast.

Split-Complementary. This scheme works similar to the previous one but it employs more colors. For instance, if you choose the blue color you need to take two others which are adjacent to its opposite color meaning yellow and red.

Triadic. It is based on three separate colors which are equidistant on the color wheel. Professionals recommend to use one color as a dominant, the others as accents.

Tetradic/Double-Complementary. The tetradic color scheme employs four colors from the wheel which are complementary pairs. If you connect the points on the chosen colors they form the rectangle.

 

color theory design tubik

Source

 

Detailed information and examples of color harmony can be found in our article Color Theory: Brief Guide for Designers.

 

Tip 6. Steal ideas from nature

 

Mother nature is the best artist and designer in the world. Color combinations which we can see in the natural environment are always close to perfect. People enjoy watching sunsets and dawns, autumn forests and winter mountains since they are full of natural color combinations.

 

So, why don’t you try to borrow a few ideas? Go for a walk or search for beautiful nature photos and you will definitely find the inspiration.

 

web ui design city guide

Big City Guide

 

The success of a digital product depends largely upon the colors chosen for its UI. The right colors help users feel comfortable with a product. Designers can put people in the frame of mind that compels them to take action just by applying the appropriate color palette. Make your choices wisely.

 

Recommended reading

 

Color Theory: Brief Guide For Designers.

Color in Design: Influence on Users’ Actions.

Color in UI Design. Look on the Bright Side.

Dark Side of UI. Benefits of Dark Background.

3C of Interface Design: Color, Contrast, Content.


Welcome to see the designs by Tubik Studio on Dribbble and Behance

color theory design tubik

Color Theory: Brief Guide For Designers.

Many people think the choice of colors for UI mostly depends on the designer’s taste and sense of beauty. However, the process of the color selection is more complicated than it seems and plays a significant role in design. In one of our previous articles devoted to color psychology, we’ve found out that colors have the great impact on our mood and behavior. That’s why the success of the product depends largely upon the colors chosen for the design. The research provided by Colorcom showed that it takes only 90 seconds for people to make a subconscious judgment about a product and between 62% and 90% of that assessment is based on color alone. So, the appropriately chosen colors can be useful on the way of improved conversion for your product as well as advance usability of the product.

 

To create good design and employ colors more effectively, you need to understand how colors are formed and how they relate to each other. That’s why students at art schools, colleges and universities study the science of color theory devoted to colors’ nature. Today, we offer you to remember (or maybe even learn) the basics of color theory about the color combination which can be effectively applied in your design creating process.

 

Color Wheel

 

If you had any lessons related to painting, you must have seen the circle consisting of different colors. It is called the color wheel which helps to understand how different colors relate to each other and how they can be combined. The color circle is usually built of primary, secondary and tertiary colors. The primary are those three pigment colors that can not be formed by any combination of other colors. Combining primary colors, we get the secondary ones, and the mix of the primary and secondary colors gives us the tertiary colors which usually have two-word names such as red-violet.

 

color-wheel-2

Source

 

The color circle was created in 1666 by Isaac Newton in a schematic way and since then it has gone through many transformations but still remains the main tool for color combination.The main idea is that the color wheel must be made that way so colors would be mixed appropriately.

 

Color models

 

Before you start mixing colors you need to understand that color has two different natures: the tangible colors which are the surface of objects and the others which are produced by light such as the beams of TV. These types create two color models by which color wheel is formed: additive and subtractive.

 

The additive color model considers red, blue, and green as primary colors so it’s also known as RGB color system. This model is the basis of all colors used on the screen. The combination of primary colors in equal proportions of this system produces secondary colors which are cyan, magenta and yellow, but you need to remember that the more light you add, the brighter and lighter the color becomes. Results obtained by mixing additive colors are often counterintuitive for people accustomed to the subtractive color system of paints, dyes, inks and other tangible objects.

 

The subtractive color model obtains colors by the subtraction of light. It consists of two color systems. The first is RYB (red, yellow, blue) also known as artistic system often used in art education, especially in painting. RYB was the basis for the modern scientific color theory which determined that cyan, magenta, and yellow are the most effective set of three colors to combine. This is how the color model CMY has been formed. It was mostly used in printing and when the photomechanical printing included black ink, the key component, the system was named CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow, and black). Without this additional pigment, the shade closest to black would be muddy brown.

 

difference-between-RGB-and-CMYK

Source

 

Additive vs subtractive

 

You should remember the major difference between these two systems: additive is for digital screens and subtractive for print media. If the design project you are working on is meant to be printed, don’t forget the simple but crucial rule: colors you see on the screen never look the same in print. Additive color spectrum is wider than CMYK, which is the reason why designers are recommended to convert their projects to the subtractive system of colors before printing so that they could see the result close to what they would get. However, if you work with digital products, RGB color system is the wise choice because it allows creating amazing things with its wide color spectrum.

 

Color Harmony

 

The word “harmony” usually associates with something orderly and pleasing. The color harmony is about the arrangement of the colors in design in the most attractive and effective way for users’ perception. When colors are organized, viewers feel pleased and calm, while disharmony in design gives the feeling of chaos and disgust. The color balance is vital in design since users make their impression of the website or application by the first look, and colors have the big influence. Designers distinguished the basic color schemes that work effectively.

 

Monochromatic

 

It is based on one color with various tones and shades of it. The monochromatic harmony is always a winning choice since it’s hard to make a mistake and create the distasteful color scheme.

 

business cards design

Deetu Business Cards

 

Analogous

 

To create analogous harmony, you need to use colors located right next to each other on the color wheel. This type of color scheme is used for the design where no contrast is needed including the background of web pages or banners.

 

ui animation design tubik

Night in Berlin App

 

Complementary

 

The complementary scheme is the mix of colors placed in front of each other on the color wheel. This scheme is opposite to analogous and monochromatic since it aims to produce high contrast. For example, the orange button on the blue background is hard to miss in any interface.

 

buongiorno_roma_illustration_tubik

Rome Illustration

 

Split-Complementary

 

This scheme works similar to the previous one but it employs more colors. For instance, if you choose the blue color you need to take two others which are adjacent to its opposite color meaning yellow and red. The contrast here is less sharp than in complementary scheme but it allows using more colors.

 

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Be Bright App

 

Triadic

 

When the design requires more colors you can try triadic scheme. It is based on three separate colors which are equidistant on the color wheel. To save the balance in with this scheme, it is recommended to use one color as a dominant, the other as accents.

 

halloween stickers toonie alarm

Toonie Halloween Stickers

 

Tetradic/Double-Complementary

 

The tetradic color scheme is for the experienced designers since it is the most difficult to balance. It employs four colors from the wheel which are complementary pairs. If you connect the points on the chosen colors they form the rectangle.The scheme is hard to harmonize but if you do everything right, the results may be stunning.

 

mobile app design tubik studio

MoneyWise App

 

Color theory is a complex science which requires more than one day to learn. However, it is vital to understand the basics so that you could create the effective design with the knowledge of what you’re doing.

 

Recommended reading

 

Here are some materials we could recommend for those who would like to get deeper into the topic:

 

Color in Design: Influence on Users’ Actions

 

Digital colour mixing explained

 

Color Systems — RGB & CMYK

 

Why Color Matters

 

Responding To Color


Welcome to see the designs by Tubik Studio on Dribbble and Behance