The Impact of Colour in Web Design

In the realm of web design, every element plays a significant role in shaping user experience and engagement. In 2021, a Web Design Survey was created comparing what visual elements customers ranked the highest on websites. In first place was Photos/Images at 40% and coming in close second, was Colour at 39%. 

Colour stands out as a powerful tool that can evoke impressions, emotions, drive actions, and even contribute to brand recognition. The strategic use of colour can transform a website from a mere digital space into an immersive and memorable experience. Therefore, choosing a colour scheme for your website has to be done with intention.

As a digital agency Farnham, we have design experts in-house that are crazy about colour. In this article, we explore the power of colour in web design and how it impacts a visitor’s impression, emotion, action and relationship to your brand.

It’s all about impression

When a user lands on your website from a Google search or a link through social media, the initial impression they form is crucial. It’s so crucial that it takes only 90 seconds for people to make a subconscious judgement about a person, environment, or product. 

Unless you had painter parents, art at school is probably where you learned about colour theory – blue means sad and yellow means happy. But, it’s a lot more than that. A multitude of studies have been done that link particular colours to particular meanings – we’ll get into those later. 

If you choose incorrect colours, you could end up making the visitor feel a lack of trust and unprofessionalism and with roughly 76% of those 90 second assessments are made based on colour alone, you definitely do not want to do that. 

But yellow CAN mean happy

Colour does have the remarkable ability to evoke emotions that can lead to the feeling of desire, that elicits buying habits – the feeling of wanting, needing and not having enough. 95% of purchasing decisions are made through the subconscious mind, which dictates our emotions.  

Using colour theory, an array of emotions can be translated through your website. 

Plachuk’s wheel of emotions (above) tells us that colour can be directly related to a certain emotion. The websites for the charity Mind uses a lot of blue that could conjure feelings of sadness and pensiveness, encouraging people to feel empathy for themselves and others. 

This kind of feeling perhaps pushes someone to the mindframe of being ready to reach out through their helpline, or get involved with the charity itself. 

It’s incredible how a user journey can be created from just the use of a colour and so it’s important to understand not only why you want a potential customer or client to buy from you, but which emotion will allow them to get there. 

Getting people to take action 

Colour plays an essential role in directing user behaviour and encouraging desired actions. You cannot make anyone do anything per say, but you can influence them through more than just words and pictures.

For example, CTA (call-to-action) buttons have different meanings, and this is aided by the colour:

Above image is from the WMBA Marketing Blog from an entry entitled The Marketing Colour Wheel.

Think about it. The urgency to purchase comes through more a highly contrasted red than a tranquil, muted green. And there are studies to prove this. One study found that participants who were shown a multitude of different coloured targets, were more inclined to see even a desaturated red, over any other colour. 

Whether you’d like the customer to make a purchase, sign up for a newsletter, or explore further content, it’s 100% possible to use colour to encourage certain behaviours from your customers

Using the colours as a guide throughout a website can make the journey of the user better as a well-designed colour scheme can help visitors navigate through the site content easily and quickly.

Warning: red has a whole plethora of meanings, so don’t overuse it for the sake of popularity. If you’d like a potential customer to feel comfortable, and adopt a slower buying process, then tranquil green could work better for you. 

Brand recognition


Colour plays a pivotal role in establishing a brand’s identity and aiding in recognition. If you have brand guidelines, you may have gone through a branding exercise where the reasoning behind colours for your logo and/or social media posts were explained to you. Well, that’s what we do as an agency specialising in website design Surrey.


It’s a good idea to follow your brand colours in your web design as consistency in colour usage creates a visual cohesion that becomes synonymous with the brand itself.

Colour in web design 

The impact of colour in web design extends far beyond mere aesthetics. Colours have the power to influence first impressions, evoke emotions, guide actions, and solidify brand recognition

It’s time to get a colour palette together. There are plenty of tools available online for free where you can create your own colour palette. Here’s one from Canva and a slightly more complex one from Adobe

As an agency specialising in website design Surrey, we hope this article will support you in revamping your existing website, or help you gain some perspective on a new one. By understanding the psychology of colour and applying it strategically, designers can create web experiences that subtly connect with users and leave a lasting imprint on their minds. 

Need some support? – website or logo design Surrey

Our digital agency Farnham has been designing award-winning websites for over 10 years!  If you are interested in working with our in-house team, or have any enquiries, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. For more information give us a call on 01252 413 757 or email us at – we are always happy to help.