"The Web Is Dead." This month's Wired magazine proclaims "Long Live The Internet." So what does that mean for Web designers? We must evolve to Internet Design! From apps to content everything has changed. The rise of NUI [touch screen or natural user interface] and mobile based hardware is driving lighter, simpler services and apps. This evolution has tremendous impact for designers. In Part one I covered Layout, In Part Two: Typography, Today we I will focus on color.
Part Three: Color Outside The Lines
Choosing the right color scheme is extremely important, because it will set the mood of your app design more so than any other component. Don’t let your own personal taste determine what colors you use. That should be based on what’s trying to be achieved with the app and what you know about it’s audience.
3.1 What's Your Brand's Color?
It's usually found in the DNA of a brand. Most brands have a color bible. Use it. Enhance it. But never get rid of it or change it. It's a part of the visual language that which captures the essence of a brand. If your having trouble identifying a colors that work try Adobe’s Kuler, it's a community driven web app that lets your browse color palettes created by others. You can also create your own by using the color wheel, harmony rules, and color sliders. There are also other tools to help you choose the right colors.
3.2 I dare you to use orange!
As fashion week kicks into high gear in NYCI challenge you to count the # of times you designers using orange as a primary color! It's coming back in a big way. If you can't use orange simply dare to be different! I like the the Gap Medics site, which features a bold choice of colors that goes against everything we are used to seeing on medical related sites. It’s appropriate since the site is trying to attract young medical students. The colors help give the site a young hip feel that softens seriousness of the subject matter.
3.3 Black / Dark Colors in Web design
Sometimes a little color is the right color. Carsonified basically only uses two colors. The dark brown and a creamy white compliment the vintage poster style and design elements. Sometimes a minimal color palette is all you need. You can use dark colors in apps and on the internet witou breaking a usability best practice.
[examples via the WDL]
Go for it! Black is back according to Winehouse.
Next Up - Art Direction and GUI Elements