Have you ever felt anxious around flashing red lights? Calm walking through a forest? Said you’re “feeling blue” or are “green with envy”? You have experienced color psychology first-hand. While color isn’t the sole influencer of our emotions in a particular scenario, it plays a large role in how we feel about the world around us.
In business, we use color to shape first impressions and brand perception. In marketing, we use color to influence mood and decision-making. And color also has the power to impact your web forms, specifically user experience, accessibility, and conversion rate.
What is Color Psychology?
Color psychology involves the research of how color influences an individual’s mood, emotions, and decision-making. Between 62-90% of individuals form an opinion of a product or environment based on color alone.
Healthcare organizations with blue logos. Environmental nonprofits with green logos. Higher education institutions with red logos. No matter the industry or organization, color plays a strategic role in influencing specific emotions. Here’s how color can impact your web forms.
3 Ways Color Affects Web Forms
Knowing how color can influence the success of your web forms is a great first step in your form design process. If your organization already has an established brand, you may be able to apply these colors to your web forms. In either case, it’s important to understand how and why color is so important to design and overall form performance.
Color and User Experience
Certain colors will influence individuals differently based on their unique demographic factors, such as age, gender, culture, and region. Your color choice on forms can affect a user’s emotions and actions.
To ensure a positive influence, it’s important to choose the right colors for the situation. And choosing the right colors starts with who the target audience is for your web form. While green often denotes health and growth for Western organizations, it symbolizes love in Japan.
If you’re not sure which colors are best, practice the concept of less is more. Choose a neutral color palate and let your organization’s logo and CTA button provide color on your form.
Color and Accessibility
The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) that apply to websites also apply to your web forms. The colors on your form must meet these guidelines to be usable by individuals with color blindness, low visibility, or low contrast sensitivity.
The right color contrast doesn’t only benefit people with disabilities — it can make the entire experience better for everyone filling out your form. Start by selecting background and text colors that have a high contrast ratio.
WCAG recommends a 3:1 contrast ratio between a link and surrounding words, and a 4.5:1 contrast ratio between the background color and foreground text.
If you use colors to portray error messages or required fields, be sure that you accompany them with appropriate text. Also, be sure to include sufficient color contrast when a user hovers over a button or link.
Color and Conversion Rate
Using color can also impact how many submissions your form receives. Colors build trust. If your website has a color scheme already, it’s important that you incorporate these colors into your form.
As long as you follow accessibility guidelines, matching the colors of your web form to your branding will help build familiarity and trust with your audience. Combined with other form-building best practices, using on-brand colors can improve submissions.
The color you choose for your form’s CTA button can also influence conversion rates. Create sharp contrast to ensure this button grabs attention and encourages users to click. Using your brand’s primary color may be the best choice for your CTA button.
Get More Web Form Design Tips
Curious to learn how different aspects of design can influence the success of your web forms? Download our eBook, 4 Steps to Better Web Forms.