|Colour choices for your web design is, in a way, choosing not what colour you feel like but choosing what's appropriate, applicable and interesting for your potential users/audiences. You don't want your users feeling pathetic of your web site's colour choices and patterns, do you?|
Planning and organizing your colour usage as you go about designing your web sites should not be overlooked. Don't just go about it with a trial-and-error attitude. Here are some of the best practices with regards to applying colour in web design. Read this and get a head-start in capturing the eyes (if not yet their hearts and minds) of your prospective users!
Regarding the Use of Colour and Pattern. Make it a point that your colour choices are flexible enough that they can be easily replaced depending on your user's browser settings and assistive technology. It is good to establish a strong contrast between the background colour and the text colour, however, lest you intentionally want your users to get dizzy, don't use patterned or textured backgrounds behind the texts. Solid and plain text backgrounds are well and good. On-screen patterns need to be put in the centre.
Do not rely heavily on colour connotations in guiding your users about important information. Colour coding as an additional way to identify different elements and site navigation can be fun and amusing. But avoid using too many different colours simultaneously. Be consistent and have limitations in the number of colours you're your colour coding.
Regarding Choices in Colour. The safest, more legible and professional - looking combination is black text on a white background. For maximum visibility according to average human eye's capabilities - red and green turns out good when in centre of the screen; black, white, yellow and blue are very useful on periphery. If your intent is to identify two groups of content, do not use red and green combination; always consider that the most common colour blindness is that of red/green blindness. This precaution also applies with the blue and yellow combination. Keep in mind that 1 - 2% of men have blue-yellow colour blindness.
In drawing fully sighted user's attention, red and other vivid colours may serve for your purpose. Other brighter colours are also very good for screen based interface that will be viewed for a long period. These colours are also applicable for older users. When you want the colours to be distinct from each other, darker shades of blue, red and purple and paler shades of green, yellow and orange are good choices.
Use the colours to say something about your Website or company. Brighter colours like yellow as a background colour can be used to highlight low prices and bargains. Colours that are good for businesses are beige, blue, burgundy and dark green against a white or very light background. Do not make it a habit of using grey texts, greyscales for important diagrams. It is also not healthy to user different shades of blue simultaneously. Do not make your design look amateur by using fluorescent type colours to highlight something.
In pairing colours together, be sure to consult the colour wheel chart first. Combining two colours from the opposite ends of the colour chart and high chroma colours may result to user's headaches rather than their appreciation.
Regarding Different Viewing Environments. When you're in low light viewing conditions, use light text, thin lines, and small shapes in white yellow or red. Have a medium-dark background like blue, green, red or grey. Prepare lower chroma for video displays, too. If you're working in bright conditions, then apply dark text, thin lines and small shapes in blue or black. White and pale yellow, magenta, green or blue are preferable backgrounds.