Website Designing Strategies – Colour Schema

Website designing is a bigger challenge than is perceived to be by most webmasters. Sure, it is very easy to set up a word press or a drupal blog with a single click install, but how do you design it properly so that it delivers the intended value to your stake-holders? In this article, we would discuss upon the major issues related to the color schema of blogs and what they communicate.
Colors communicate more than most marketer know. They are often the essence of a brand. It communicates the core essence of the personality of your brand that you are attempting to project through your website. Brand personality refers to specific human personality traits (sometimes these are developed cognitively and sometimes actively while reminiscing) which are developed harmoniously with any offering, whether it is a product or a service, or even a combination of the two. While branding a product or a service, especially if it is a new offering, or is being launched in a new market, or is getting repositioned in a new or existing market, in depth understanding of all the dimensions of Brand Personality is of utmost importance to the product or service manager or the brand manager.

Similarly, in line with these brand personality dimensions which has become so popular in consumer marketing research, a lot of studies have tried to explore whether specific colour combinations present certain characteristics of the offering that is presented through the web enablement. Is the digital offering synchronous with the colour schema that represent it or is there some likelihood of dissonance in such as offering.

Indeed there are some best practices, while deciding the color of a website. Let us try to discuss few of them.

  • Colour schema uses 3-5 colours plus neutrals. Too many colors make the presentation too flashy and is also not ergonomically pleasant for the reader of the content presented in the website.
  • Colour schema is consistent within the same domain or subdomain. If you have different colour schema within your website, it is likely to convey a mixed representation of your offering, and also some dissonance within your offering. Now this may lead to further dissonance about the target audience for your offering.
  • Use of colour and graphics enhances rather than distracts users. Too much colors and graphics may draw your readers attention away from the offering and the content surrounding it.
  • Graphics are optimized and do not significantly make downloads slow. It is important to remember that if your page downloads are slower than 8 seconds, it is likely that your reader or visitor to your page will close the page and you lose a potential customer. Further, if your page takes more than 4 seconds to load, you are likely to lose 30% of your visitors. Consider always that you may have customers accessing your web page with a slow connection (maybe a 128 kbps connection) and design your page accordingly.
  • Use progressive rendering for dense graphics. This makes the visitor less impatient if high quality graphics is a must. This improves retention of visitors to your page. Progressive rendering is defined as the gradual loading of images, when a web page loads, in sequence to their occurrence in the page. The images and graphics in the top of the page loads first, while the graphics toward the lower end of the page lowers later. Further, prime content within the page should load first, especially those above the fold.
  • Image tags use the alt attribute to configure an alternate text description if images do not load. Who like sto see a broken image. Better to see some alternate text descriptor rather than a blank shot.
  • Static / animated images should not distract away from the site. A tendency of users in to click on images. One should be careful about what this leads to. Engaging your readers to spend more time in the site is critical for success of your digital venture.
  • Animated images should not endlessly repeat. This enhances website loading time, and thus lowers reader’s satisfaction from accessing the content. This also make the web page less attractive for search engine crawlers and spiders indexing the web. I am sure, you would want more and more traffic from  search engines. Who does not?

In line with these, we have brought forward a matrix, which may be useful for you while designing the color schema for your web enabled offering. This colour schema should be synchronous with your positioning strategy for your offering.

Website-Design

Do let us know, if you find this article useful for reading. We hope that these guidelines will really help you to take your designing plans forward and you develop a website that has a content aligned with the brand personality it screams to its target segment.

Additional readings:

Aaker, J. L. (1997). Dimensions of brand personality. Journal of marketing research, 347-356.
Azoulay, A., & Kapferer, J. N. (2003). Do brand personality scales really measure brand personality?. The Journal of Brand Management, 11(2), 143-155.
Siguaw, J. A., Mattila, A., & Austin, J. R. (1999). The brand-personality scale. The Cornell Hotel and Restaurant Administration Quarterly, 40(3), 48-5.
Müller, B., & Chandon, J. L. (2003). The impact of visiting a brand website on brand personality. Electronic Markets, 13(3), 210-221.
Cyr, D., Head, M., & Larios, H. (2010). Colour appeal in website design within and across cultures: A multi-method evaluation. International journal of human-computer studies, 68(1), 1-21.
Cyr, D., Head, M., & Larios, H. (2010). Colour appeal in website design within and across cultures: A multi-method evaluation. International journal of human-computer studies, 68(1), 1-21.
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