Why Is The Web So Blue?

One colour is more prominent on the web than any other, blue. Whether it is branding or buttons, it is undeniably everywhere. The big runners on social media heavily use the colour blue. Facebook don’t only use the colour in their brand; almost every interactive element on their site or app utilise the colour too.

Where did the use of blue on the web originate from?

Its use on the web started when it was the chosen colour for hyperlink. Two stories around the decision to use the hue, are strangely both considered to be true. Firstly Berners- Lee states that it was a simple choice – they had to pick a colour to use, why not blue?

But others argue that it is a technical choice rather than being made on a whim. In the early days of computing digital screens didn’t offer the huge range of colours that they now do.

Red and green both had their own connotation pitched in users minds for stop and go, so blue was the only alternative. The proof is in the pudding and you can see why many believe a more calculated approach was taken to choose the colour.

Accessibility

It really all comes down to accessibility. A large proportion of colour-vision deficiencies affect the perception of red and green. However, only a very small amount have difficulty seeing blue. Therefore, it stands out for almost everybody, on a sea of white. On top of that, choosing the right light blue hue also has some great contrast capabilities and is able to stand out on both dark and light backgrounds.

What does blue mean in psychology?

What other connotations does the colour provoke in a users mind. This of course, depends on the location as different colours do have different colour representations. The following are just a few of the connections a users brain might decipher whilst interacting with the hue:

Loyal & Reliable

The colour blue has a strong regal connection and often links to patriotism in countries like the UK and America due to its inclusion on their respective flags. In turn this can create a sense of trustworthiness and acceptance from an end user.

Calm

It’s a natural colour. Views of nature are often framed with our blue sky or the ocean, which is a great connection to have. 

Clean 

It does have a bit of a medical edge, that association maybe helped out by our NHS’s blue logo, but it does also give a sense of cleanliness that other colours cannot achieve.

It’s not all awesome

There are some cons to using the colour, it can seem cold and you may not want to achieve any of the connections mentioned above, you may be looking for the exact opposite.

We wanted to give a little bit of insight into why there is so much blue on the web. You’ll continue to see blue buttons across sites for the foreseeable future, and it’s good to know that what may appear to be just an aesthetic choice does in-fact have some technical reasons behind it. It’s a golden law of UX that a user will respond better and is more likely to interact with something that they are familiar with, and even they don’t realise it we’re almost all familiar with blue buttons.

You may also be interested in our article on how brands can use chatbots to enhance user experience on their site.

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