Color Psychology and Product Design

This is a writing sample from Scripted writer Karis Bronowski

Color Psychology and Product Design

From functionality and size to customer experience, there are a large number of considerations in play when it comes to product design. Color choice, though it may seem to be a less important design decision, can play a critical role in adoption of a new product line. With 93% of consumers citing color as the priority factor in purchase decisions, color can make or break a product launch. An understanding of color psychology and thorough audience research can help companies select colors for new products that will resonate with their target customers.

Basic Color Psychology

Universally, each color has been shown to reflect particular characteristics on a subconscious level. Studies have shown very clear associations) between personality traits and colors. For example, for "reliability," 43% of respondents to a color association survey selected the color blue; 76% associated "speed" with the color red. Black was chosen as the color most representative of "high quality" (63%); and purple (29%) and red (28%) were leaders for "courage." Colors can reflect both positive and negative traits: orange ranked highest for both "cheapness" and "fun." By understanding this color psychology, design teams can select colors that will be associated with the right characteristics for the product.

Audience Preference

Along with color psychology, audience preference is a critical factor in choosing the right product colors. This begins with developing a deep understanding of the target audience profile or buyer persona - and depending on the business model, a company may have multiple profiles or personas. These profiles will include data like demographics, gender, age, industry, role, business goals, challenges, and even personal interests. Based on this information, product designers can select colors that will match the preference of the majority of their target customers. In general, women preferblue, purple and green, while men choose blue, green and black as their favorite colors. Pairing an audience's demographics with matching known color preferences adds to information product designers can use to choose colors that will sell their product.

Based on a combination of color psychology and audience preference information, color choice can emphasize the positive characteristics of a product. The right colors will, whether consciously or unconsciously, resonate with their target audience, generating improved success for the product - while the wrong color can limit the adoption of an otherwise well-designed product.

Written by:

Karis Bronowski
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Just ask my family - I've been a writing fiend since I learned as a first grader that I could write stories like those I loved. While I temporarily pursued other careers, in college I returned to writing as Technical and Professional Communication major. I learned how to write logically and clearly while avoiding unnecessary words that detract from the message. I wrote a wide variety of content from reports to user-friendly instructions, learned to adhere to various style guides including MLA and the Chicago Manual, and how to properly and quickly edit writing.
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