In my last keynote at the Practical Software Quality and Testing Conference in San Diego, I gave a talk on IOT and Quality Challenges. One of the metaphors that I used was how the Cambrian Period compared to today’s era with IOT. During the Cambrian Period, there was an explosion of various life forms. And with IOT, I think the same is happening, with the right conditions for IOT including power, processors, networking technologies and cloud storage. These conditions are perfect to spawn an explosion of life. In my tutorial the day after the keynote, I presented Mobile UX is the New Storefront. One section of the tutorial was focused on how you can enhance User Experience through choice of color. We discussed that the choice of colors can be very strategic.

How to Enhance User Experience Via Color

Contrast – Who’s your favorite football team? Look at their uniforms. Some that come to mind are the Minnesota Vikings and Denver Broncos, or my absolute favorite, The Washington Redskins. Notice their use of contrast in colors that are opposite each other on the color wheel. This makes it easy to pick them out on the field and makes their uniforms pleasing to the eye. But for your website or company’s mobile app, it means visibility and reducing errors. If your users can see buttons and icons more easily, they’re less prone to make mistakes.

Color Wheel and UX

Color Can Affect UX Effectiveness

Psychology – Ever wonder why banks always have blue or green? That’s because they are trying to convey the feeling of trust and sincerity. Just look at any of the leading credit card companies or banks and you’ll find a combination of blue and green.

Green for UX

Use of Green – Sincerity

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Blue Indicates Trust

Or look at all the restaurant or food-related applications on your mobile phone. What color are they? Red. So, while you are trying to create a look, feel, and behavior that instills trust, it’s important to also think about use of colors.

Branding – Many companies use the combination of contrast and psychology along with analyzing their competitors choice of colors to come up with a scheme that sets their brand apart. In fact, in a journal article Impact of Color on Marketing, it’s stated that “people make up their minds within 90 seconds of their initial interactions with either people or products. About 62‐90 percent of the assessment is based on colors alone.”

So if you want to enhance User Experience, consider color as one of your key tools. Get the basics first by making sure that people can see your application or website clearly. Use good contrast while keeping in mind the position of the colors on the color wheel. Then, think about the psychology of the colors you are using and whether they fit the image that you want your company to project. Good luck!