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Using Color Effectively

Using Color Effectively
We've all seen this before: you surf the web for some information and come across a very colorful (and very loud!) website. The designer obviously had fun with this one. The only problem is that it is very difficult to read the white text on the screaming orange background. Not that the flashing symphony of colors in the background would let us read anything anyway

Yet it is easy enough to fall into the same trap ourselves. We might not create the Herb Tarlek of websites, but we may forget the most important rule of web design: don't let it get in the way of the content!

Except for the rare occasion where the visuals carry the story, your visitors are there to read information. Reading on a screen is a challenge for most people as it is, and crazy color palettes can just make it worse.

Aim to make the main content area as easy to read as possible. Black lettering on a white background is usually the easiest to read. But even this is flexible try dark grey for a more soothing effect.

This does not mean, of course, that you need a plain black and white website. Add photos or images throughout your main content area to take away the starkness of the white background. Add color to your headers  these short pieces of text are usually bigger and easier to read anyway, and injecting color here can really keep interest in the main text. And of course, color all around your main content area is definitely encouraged.

A simple rule to remember: the color, design, and layout are what attracts readers but it is the content itself that people are there for.