Why are colors so necessary in modern UX/UI design?

Every time we open our eyes, our visual receptors are continuously exposed to optical stimuli. Color is a powerful information carrier that is used to support the overall human cognitive system. With the right combination and arrangement of colors, you can evoke positive emotions and behavior in users.  

Colors are known to have certain physiological and psychological properties. Each color has its meaning, which may vary depending on the culture. This fact is extremely important for the UX design of a business since the strength of the brand is highly dependent on this particular factor. That’s why it’s safer to find a ui ux design services and development company which will assist you and your project.

Playing with the color tone, shade, and shadow 

Just because you have decided on colors, it doesn’t mean that you can only work with them. They are basic, but you can still experiment with them. 

It’s important to understand the different ways to adjust colors but don’t overdo it:

  1. Hue is a pure color, with no shading, tint, or tone. Therefore, if we move away from the outer part of the color wheel, we will change the tone.  
  2. Shade is a tone to which black was added. 
  3. Tint is a tone to which white has been added.
  4. Tone is a tone to which gray has been added.

Use color options 

The colors you really need to experiment with for more depth are the so-called variations. You can change the hue manually or use special tools, as Dworkz experts advise.

Add a HEX value and the tool will generate options for you. You can use as many options as you need for your design. Designers usually prefer 2 to 8 but it’s fine to use up to 9 variants. They don’t have to be exact neighbors, you can choose any contrast for your design and just ignore some of them. If you are interested in numbers, I will explain this in the next section on naming.

How to name colors correctly

Once you’ve chosen colors and options, you should document them in your style sheet and/or your design system. It is not recommended to name colors after the color itself, like red and blue, but use something generic, as colors can be changed and adjusted over time.

As well, it doesn’t matter what names you use. They just need to be descriptive and consistent, like background, gray, etc. Then you have a primary and secondary color, as a highlight color.

Naming options of colors

Now your options are built around the primary or secondary color. Thus, they do not get their name, but they must be identified as a variant, usually by a numerical value. In the Material Design color palette, we created them in increments of 100, which is what I like to use. However, you could just as well use step 10.

Some designers prefer to use 500 as their base color and then create other variations from that as needed. However, don’t call them 1, 2, 3, 4, etc. the reason is that you may want to add intermediate options at a later stage, and then there will be a mess. So give yourself room for the unexpected.

Don’t forget the system colors for errors, warnings, information, and success, usually red, orange, blue, and green. You can customize them to match your brand colors if you like. Just make sure the error is always displayed in red!

Tips about on-color

Another thing worth adding is the so-called on-color – a color used on top of another color, such as typography or icons. 

Conscious use of on-color has two main advantages:

  1. Adding on-color. You will receive a reminder to check the accessibility of the design by color contrast. Either use a plugin in your design tool of choice, or an online contrast checker like this one. By the way, by law, you are required to make your page available in accordance with the requirements of WCAG.
  2. Check contrast for accessibility. Let’s say your secondary color is dark gray and you haven’t defined an on-color color. Often this color will be converted to a variable and used as the text color. Now if you change it to, say, bright blue, you will need to change all the text in the design file, and maybe even the code. So keep your design file organized.

The color distribution rule 60, 30, 10

In addition to what colors you use, how you use them matters. Use the 60,30,10 rule. It means that the base color takes up to 60% of your design, 30% secondary, and the color for highlights and accents – 10%, for example, a call to action.  

60% for the primary color, 30% for the secondary color, and 10% for the highlight color for calls to action. As you can see, you get a pretty solid foundation and stand-out calls to action.

Obviously, this is an approximate color distribution and not an exact measurement. In this case, a color can be understood as one color or color and its variants. Experiment with this rule, but make sure your calls to action always stand out the same way.

Summing it up

Color is one of the marketing tools that is used to create, maintain and change the brand image in the minds of customers. The brand of any company includes a logo, color, and general interface of an application or website. 

Colors can enhance brand recall by having an emotional effect on customers as each color has its symbolic meaning. In this way, colors can enhance the usability of any software by guiding the attention of users while enriching the user experience by creating a pleasant atmosphere.  

It is important to pay special attention to the color palette, as well-chosen colors can enhance the design, and conversely, a poor color palette can detract from the user experience and prevent them from effectively using a website or mobile application.

Also, it is important to consider that the colors of the interface have a powerful emotional impact. While some colors are universal in UX design, the other colors they pair with can have a huge impact on user experience. To find out more, contact Dworkz. They are always ready to help you!

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