Color Theory for the Web (or Why Blue = Suicide)

Session Title

Color Theory for the Web (or Why Blue = Suicide)


Michael Salamon, EffectiveUI

Session Type: Presentation

You don’t have to be afraid of color anymore – color theory isn’t magic…it’s SCIENCE! Ensuring that a color palette is in contour with your Web site’s content and visitors is extremely important. Color should be used to give users cues as to your site’s navigation, grouping of content, importance and relationships. Whether they know it or not, your site visitors are responding to color and other visual elements. In fact, research suggests that subconsciously people make judgments about an environment or product within 90 seconds of initial viewing and that 62 to 90 percent of that assessment is based on color alone.

Learn how traditional color theory can be applied to your Web and mobile projects with dramatic results. Intrigued site visitors are more likely to engage and be successful in utilizing your application. Design color schemes to enhance your content, not distract or confuse your users. Gain a complete understanding of terms like hue, saturation and brightness and make them work for you. Participants will also learn how the eye perceives color, and how you can use science to select harmonious color palettes to remove opinion (and churn) from the approval process.


Michael Salamon is a lead experience architect at EffectiveUI, an award-winning and recognized leader in the design and development of custom rich Internet, desktop and mobile applications. With 20 years of design experience, Michael’s work spans print, Web, mobile, interactive, motion, illustration and animation. With a thorough history in the printing industry, Michael made the move to the Web with the rest of the chunky black glasses crowd and helped define interaction methods still used today.


  1. Rob Nero
    Posted September 15, 2009 at 11:51 am

    I’m intrigued, but also concerned. Will it be more in-depth than the obvious “don’t use blue and red together” lesson? Will it include the psychology of colors and not just the art theory? A unique and good idea for a session, though!

  2. Posted September 16, 2009 at 11:40 am

    When describing our design process to new clients, we’ve often joked “We will explore various creative and design directions, including things like typography, imagery, style. We’ll explore different color directions. You’ll pick blue.”

  3. Posted October 1, 2009 at 5:50 pm

    as someone with not much background in this area, i think i’d come–sounds interesting.