Color Theory & UI

Sep 22, 2022Adam Lamin

Consider your favorite company’s branding. Are there any colors that come to mind?

Apple is famous for its sleek, monochromatic branding.

Colors are everywhere, constantly affecting how we interpret information. As one of the core elements of visual communication, colors can change how we process messages, impacting both our emotions and actions.

In the context of product design, using colors intentionally can help influence users’ perceptions while guiding their behavior.

Creating A Strong Color Palette

One method when creating a full-color palette is to start with a base color and build on it, adjusting hue, saturation, and value. Online tools like Adobe Color and Paletton can help with generating new color combinations.

Another approach is to look at existing color palettes that have already been created. Sometimes, it makes more sense to use existing color combinations rather than creating them from scratch.

A third strategy is to source colors from illustrations and photographs. Use an eyedropper tool in Photoshop to pick complementary colors.

Applying to UI

When designing UI, it is helpful to select three main colors: Primary, secondary, and background. With a 60:30:10 ratio, use 30% of the space for the primary color, 10% of the space for the secondary color, and the remaining 60% for the background color.

Utilizing a 60:30:10 can help to create a balanced, well-rounded look.


To improve UI usability, use colors in a way that is consistent with users’ expectations based on their experiences with other sites.

Wrap Up

In conclusion, being intentional about UI color palettes is essential to communicating a product’s message to users. while guiding their behaviors and interactions. Consider how color can enhance brand identity while maximizing usability, and guiding users’ behaviors and interactions.

Sources and Further Reading



Adam Lamin
I’m a UX researcher specializing in user behavior & persona creation. Learning users’ perspectives allows me to deliver something friendly & familiar. Champion of users. Driven by empathy & curiosity.

Adam Lamin

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