December 8, 2014 @ Adobe
If your site features online games, for example, there’s often a several-second wait while the game loads, even with a blazing-fast Internet connection. The same goes for downloading movies and videos. And don’t forget that some people actually lack access to broadband and still have to rely on dial-up or other slower methods of Internet access.
Researchers have known for some time that you can actually decrease perceived wait times by using more relaxing colors. So while you can’t really speed up the loading time of your site by changing its color, you can make your users believe you have.
Hue is what usually comes to mind when we think of different colors: blue, red, yellow, etc. A large body of research has shown that blue is a more calming hue than red or yellow. Red, in particular, elicits excitement, which is very useful in some situations, but when you want to make a download feel quicker, blue is the color to choose as the main color for your page.
Chroma is a measure of the pigmentation or saturation of a color. High-chroma colors appear more intense and vivid than low-chroma colors. So, as you might guess, high-chroma colors generate more excitement, but low-chroma colors relax viewers and are likely better options for download pages.
Bightness or value is the tint that a color seems to have. Low-value colors look like they’ve been mixed with black, whereas high-value colors look like they’ve been mixed with white. We sometimes call high-value colors “pastels.” This won’t come as much of a shock, but research has indicated that high-value colors elicit more relaxing feelings. And, this translates into a very significant impact on perceived speed. Of all the variables tested, brightness seems to have the most impact.
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