How do colors and graphics affect your website? The effect is a bit like an office. Imagine a client coming into your office. Before they even have a chance to gauge your business or your character, they’re already making judgments based on the cleanliness and design of your space.
Your colors and graphics work in much the same way. It doesn’t necessarily reflect on the quality of your product, but the reader will still make decisions about your credibility, reliability and professionalism based just on your colors and graphics.
These aren’t conscious decisions. They’re subconscious, subtle feelings of trust or distrust.
Here are basics of what you need to know about choosing colors and graphics to build credibility.
==> The Basics of Using Color
First of all, it’s a good idea to have one primary color and one adjacent color. Sometimes a site can do well with just one color or three colors, but it’s usually best to never have more than three colors.
The colors you choose should be similar enough that they’re soothing to the eye. The colors need to fit well together to create one smooth design.
However, two colors shouldn’t be so similar that they clash. Two different shades of green, or a light green and a light yellow, for example, are just too similar. It creates strain on the eye.
Contrast or opposing colors should be used with care. It’s okay to use opposing colors or high contrast to bring attention to one or two elements. But it is less effective as an overall color scheme.
Use neutral colors like black, white and grey liberally. Just like how white space is half the picture in graphic design, your neutral colors are half the picture in color selection.
Use your one to three colors with moderation, to sprinkle feeling throughout your website. The rest of your website should be neutral. Don’t try to color everything.
==> The Two Rules for Graphics
These are the two rules for graphics:
- Don’t have too many graphics.
- Each graphic must be highly professional.
In any given article or page, just have one graphic, maybe two. In your header, you only need one graphic. The same applies to just about anything else in your website.
Too many graphics takes power away from each graphic. The best designs use just a few powerful graphics, rather than a bunch of graphics that all detract from one another.
Each graphic needs to be very carefully chosen. It should be color corrected and its contrast balanced in a photo editing program. Make it a crisp photo, taken from a great angle.
In short, the photo should convey professionalism, credibility and quality.
It takes discipline in the beginning to put fewer graphics on a site. But that’s what it’ll take to really create a great-looking website.
Those are the basics of using colors and graphics in your site. Remember – your colors and graphics are like your office. They set your first impression before they even evaluate your product or offer.