Day #33: Why you shouldn’t use bright saturated colors for backgrounds

Day #33: Why you shouldn’t use bright saturated colors for backgrounds

“If you’re using a bright and saturated color for your background, you’re making it hard for users to keep their eyes on your page. Bright, saturated colors attract the most user attention. Too much of it in a large area overstimulates the retinas which can strain the eyes.”

I remember studying design at college and having my lecturer tell us to stay away from certain points of the color spectrum. The article has visual simple examples which help one see the actual differences between the different options. Sometimes its easy to follow a principle and not understand the core reason for its existence this is why I wanted to look into the idea of screen colors.

“Brightness and saturation are different color properties. The former refers to how much white or black is mixed in a color while the latter refers to the amount of grey in a color.

Increasing brightness is not the same as decreasing saturation. When you decrease saturation, you turn the color into a shade of gray. When you increase brightness you turn the color lighter but without making it gray” (the source)

There’s a study on effects of hue and saturation which I will be looking at and discussing in another post, this article also talks about using bright saturated colors for buttons which will draw the user’s attention but are not be too intense in large quantities on the user’s eye. I have a number of examples of this type of technique of my own work which I will be showing at some point. In comparison the darker less saturated colors should be used for backgrounds. The idea here is that the colors will not compete with the Call to action or content that the user needs to focus on

Tips to consider

  • The article discusses how creating a color properties grid can help find optimal backgrounds
  • The article has really nice visual examples I really advise you check it out, so that you can have an idea of the different ways colors can be used
  • The idea of using less brighter and saturated colors does not mean specific colors, and is hardly confining also if you are wondering. I follow this principle a lot in the work I do and always find it really helps to balance the work I do in aesthetic manner
  • The article also indicates how designers should always pay attention to such concepts and I completely agree sometimes in an effort to make something so unique a designer creates a monster ha-ha, no other way to explain it I’ve created a few monsters myself


All in all one of my favorite principles, my partner would disagree because he always say all I go on about is the rule of thirds ha-ha more on that in another post!

Bye for now!

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