A couple of months ago, we posted an infographic introducing you to the psychological effects of colour. Colour can greatly impact not only the look and feel of your mobile app, but also how the users may behave.
Represents: Ambition, vitality, passion, strength, anger (therefore, use in moderation)
Application: Referees favoured athletes who wore red (they were asked to judge identical tapes of athletes differing in only colour of attire).
Mobile: Use in moderation to highlight important items that must be seen.
Represents: Emotionally soothing and calming, femininity, softness, health, innocence; alleviates feelings of irritation, loneliness
Application: A university football coach painted the visitor’s lockers pink to reduce aggression (O’Reily, 2012)
Mobile: Use for apps that need to be gentle or relaxing (e.g. mHealth apps that might hold stressful information)
Represents: Joy, fun, value, discounts; stimulates mind to find interests, increases craving for food
Application: ING Direct uses orange to remind you of reduced fees, McDonald’s uses a red-orange to boost appetite
Mobile: Great for food-related apps (recipes, shopping lists, etc.), mCommerce apps
Represents: Wisdom, joy, happiness, creativity, intelligence; encourages optimism and self-confidence; fatiguing to the eye
Mobile: Use on apps that require creative thought (e.g. drawing apps, note-taking apps), but use conservatively because it may cause eye-strain
Represents: Relaxation, balance, self-respect, well-being, learning, growth
Application: Blackfriars Bridge in England, once painted green, saw a significant reduction in suicides.
Mobile: Safe colour to use for if you can’t decide on a theme. Also good to use on apps that promote learning (e.g. trivia apps).
Represents: Calm and relaxation, night, protection, creativity, clarity, trust, memory, depression (for dark blue; use in moderation); suppresses appetite
Application: Operating rooms choose a pale blue for their sheets and gowns to promote calm and relaxation.
Mobile: Use for apps that need to promote feelings of calm and relaxation, perhaps in conjunction with pink (e.g. mHealth apps, weight loss apps); use also for apps requiring user trust (e.g. mCommerce apps)
Represents: Honesty, dependability, stability, comfort; alleviates insecurities
Application: The UPS logo sports brown to remind customers of their dependability.
Mobile: mCommerce apps, and apps selling a service
Represents: Comfort, protection, silence, mystery, authority, luxury, power
Application: Think Apple products.
Mobile: Use on apps with a more serious tone, and to indicate luxury.
Represents: Peace, comfort, purity, truthfulness, lightness
Application: Airplanes are painted white because “It soothes the concern we all secretly harbour that a machine that size can’t possibly become airborne.” (O’Reily, 2012)
Mobile: Use white on complicated mobile apps to make it appear less cluttered.
Psychology-101. (2012, February 22). Color psychology – How colors affect our moods and emotions? Retrieved from http://www.psychology-101.com/2012/03/color-psychology-how-colors-affect-our.html
O’Reily, T. (2012, May 5). Colour schemes: How colours make us buy. http://www.cbc.ca/undertheinfluence/season-1/2012/05/05/colour-schemes-how-colours-make-us-buy-1/
“With every improvement to our design, the design itself should become more invisible.”
– Jared M. Spool, CEO and Founding Principal, User Interface Engineering
- Minimize visual noise
Removing items unecessary to the main purpose will reduce perceived clutter, boosting usability. Less distractions mean the interface will be less confusing and easier to navigate.
- Hide complex elements you can’t get rid of
Complex elements vital to the mobile app can be hidden to minimize visual noise and to maximize screen real estate. A great example would be Facebook’s mobile app wherein the menu slides in from the left upon clicking a small button on the top-left corner of the screen.
Source: Inside Facebook
- Use patterns to flatten out the learning curve
Reusing patterns users learnt from past experiences (e.g. the concept of ‘windows’ in using Microsoft’s operating systems”) will flatten out the curve because most of the learning had already been done. Further, using patterns within a mobile app has the same effect — users only need to figure things out once.
- Use visual hierarchy to help your user maintain their bearings
As mobile screen real estate is valuable, using a visual hierarchy will help them maintain their bearings. Visual elements such as colours and font weights and sizes should be strategically used.
- Clark, T. B. (2009, October 8). Minimizing complexity in user interfaces. Retrieved from http://www.innovativeinteractivity.com/2009/10/08/minimizing-complexity-in-user-interfaces/
- Sollenberger, K. (2009, August 17). 10 User interface design fundamentals. Retrieved from http://thinkvitamin.com/design/10-user-interface-design-fundamentals/
- Tate, T. (2009, August 15). Minimizing complexity in user interfaces. Retrieved from http://www.boxesandarrows.com/idea/view/40601
- Tate, T. (2009, October 7). Minimizing complexity in user interfaces. Retrieved from http://uxdesign.smashingmagazine.com/2009/10/07/minimizing-complexity-in-user-interfaces/
An interesting study called the “Psychology of SMS” has provided some interesting statistics on SMS usage.
- Males: On average, males send more texts than females, and they text with approximately 17 different contacts
- Females: Females on average send less texts than males, and they text with approximately 13 different contacts
- However, males tend to send shorter texts because they tend to use it to communicate quickly without getting into a conversation
- 94% of 18-35 year olds on average send 19 texts/day (133 texts/week) — over two times more than the other age groups
- 55% of the texts 55+ year olds send are to their family
- 19% of the texts people under 25 years old send are to their family (versus 45% to their friends)
92% of smartphone users prefer texting over IM or social networking
- 69% of smartphone users said they would feel lost without texting
- Smartphone users said their preference was due to a higher level of reliability (a message sent over a social network has more technological hurdles to overcome in comparison to texting)
- People prefer easy and reliable methods to completing tasks. Texting required the least possible effort, feels more immediate than IMing, and has been the most reliable method so far.
The Drum. (2012, July 18). ’Psychology of SMS’ research shows 92% of smartphone users still prefer text over IM and social networking. Retrieved from http://www.thedrum.co.uk/news/2012/07/18/psychology-sms-research-shows-92-smartphone-users-still-prefer-text-over-im-andRead More
When marketing a brand through mobile, there are two challenges that must be taken into consideration. First, the ability to gain the consumer’s attention on their own personal device, and second, ensuring they continue to engage and interact with your brand. A growing trend in solving these problems is the development of branded mobile games.
Games have some of the highest customer retention rates, therefore they have become a logical and increasingly popular solution for brand marketers . It is important however, to do it properly and exploit the gaming industry’s unique marketing opportunities.
- Rewarding vs. Solicitating- You are able to insert your sales tactics as a reward (5% off for passing level 10) instead of simply giving it to your consumer. This has numerous benefits on the consumer’s mindset, and encourages continued interaction with your application.
- Social Interaction Opportunities- Top scorers, challenge winners etc. can be tweeted at or featured on pages as extra content. This opens up avenues of advertising from your social network to theirs, creating clout.
- Viral Advertising Opportunities- If your game is structured to promote sharing with friends (through competition, rewards etc.), every single download of your game can create multiple active users.
- Extra Revenue Stream- If you choose to charge for your game, you open up an additional revenue stream for your company. This is a strategic decision based on your market strategy for the game, but is definitely a benefit to not overlook.
- Proven Success: Large companies like Audi and Red Bull have created their own branded games that have driven a massive amount of traffic to their websites. Audi in particular sees more traffic driven to their site through this game than any of their other marketing efforts.
Are interested in creating a mobile game? FloatPoint can help strategically develop, implement and market your branded mobile game.
Although The Psychology of Colour infographic explores the significance of colour and how they are are used for web design, the colour chart also applies to mobile applications.Read More