A Story in Color

A story in color - Sreeraag - Voiro

I’ve always been keenly interested in the look and feel of products, and right from the beginning of my career, I have made it a point to develop user interfaces that result in a delightful customer experience. 

At Voiro, I primarily work on Phoenix – a project that enhances customer experience with our product to enable intuition and seamless navigation. One of the key discussions we have during our weekly meetings is an obsession about color : whether a button, text or any of the other thousands of user elements, small and big, are the right color.

Over the years, scientists have conducted extensive research on the psychology of color and its impact. Studies suggest that it takes a user 90 seconds to form a perception of a product, and 90% of that perception is made on color alone. Color also plays a key role in product retention and therefore, brand loyalty. As the online space gets impossibly crowded, choosing the right color palette – along with a good typographic hierarchy, could make all the difference.

There’s been a lot of theory and practical information for understanding what colors go together and why, but the best way I have learned as an engineer is to emulate innovative practices from other engineers.

Marissa Mayer - Google
Image Source – FastCompany

Prior to her appointment at Yahoo, Marissa Mayer, who was then the Vice President of Search and User Experience at Google, made headlines for her ‘Forty Shades of Blue’ experiment, a detailed A/B test designed to determine which shade of blue Google should use to display their search results. 

Kaari Saarinen, former Principal Designer at Airbnb, said : ‘It is key that everyone using a visual language should be able to understand the visual language, as failing to do so will cause misunderstandings.’ This makes it imperative for designers and developers to pay attention to these sensitivities, for something as simple as having a red checkout button instead of a blue or a green one could make all the difference to your company’s profitability.

The path to develop a cohesive design language that can be used across all customer products is a journey, but I’m a firm believer in kaizen, or continuous improvement.  As we become acutely aware of color and how we interact with them in products that we frequently use and transferring our learning will definitely result in the creation of slick, modern, and customer friendly products. 

Here are a few slides on the power of colour that I put together (from various sources) and if there was one key takeaway from this piece, it would be for my audience to be acutely aware of how color plays a key role in most of our interactions, and how every color makes us feel differently.

“Color! What a deep and mysterious language, the language of dreams.”  ~Paul Gauguin ~



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