Pictured above is a sample of a family tree chart created using Charting Companion from Progeny Genealogy. For a long time now, it’s been accepted that colour has the power to affect our moods, emotions and behavior. The basic colour wheel is made up of three primary colours (red, yellow and blue), three secondary colours (orange, green and violet) and six tertiary colours (red-orange, yellow-orange, yellow-green, blue-green, blue-violet and red-violet).
It’s from these basic colours that we can make the innumerable variety of tints, shades and tones available to us. Complimentary: Complimentary schemes use a powerful contrast, colours that are opposites on the colour wheel. Triadic: The use of triadic colour scheme benefits from the unity of an analogous colour scheme as well as the vibrancy of a complimentary. Yellow certainly grabs the attention, but be wary of using it for backgrounds unless you are looking to make a point, like SimpliSafe’s digital security guide.
Here, Plant with Purpose‘s use of muted, olive-toned green makes the user think of renewal and sustainability. Purple has long been associated with royalty and wealth, but also has supernatural connotations.
Purple is rare in nature, making it seem expensive and luxurious, it’s the perfect choice for luxury brand Asprey and conveys decadence and a hint of conceit to appeal to their affluent customers.


Now that you’ve seen it in action, break out of old habits and experiment with colour using some of these fantastic tools. Shutterstock Spectrum is an image discovery tool that allows users to search images by colour rather than keyword – a great way to boost your brainstorming efforts. Check My Colours allows you to check foreground and background colours provide sufficient contrast – great for analogous colour schemes.
Colour Lovers is a creative community that is a great place to get feedback on your palettes, as well as gain inspiration from the work of others.
Remember, colour has the power to persuade and influence consumers – make sure you’re taking advantage of its benefits.
About Rob ToledoRob Toledo is your everyday Seattleite -- A bit too obsessed with coffee, geeky things and bad weather, he can always be found hacking on any number of goofy side projects. Usability Geek is a Usability & User Experience (UX) blog that provides practical and useful information. Our readership comes from various fields including those of Usability, User Experience, Human Computer Interaction (HCI) and Information Architecture (IA). Charting Companion genealogy software enables you to color by lineage, generation, gender, or custom user-defined. It’s a potent and persuasive visual cue that has a real influence on consumer decisions, so its selection for a website should not be taken lightly.


They’re simple, safe and minimal and can be used to achieve a polished, elegant look. They’re calming and comfortable, are often found in nature, and create a pleasing, unified feel.
In marketing, it creates urgency, increases the heart rate, and appeals to impulse shoppers. It’s less aggressive than red, and due to its association with the changing seasons represents movement – perfect for innovative advertising.
Although this bright and energizing colour evokes happiness and hope, in nature it often signifies danger and deceit. The company appears trustworthy and authoritative, while the monochromatic blue colour scheme compliments their pure, brilliant diamonds. From strong, powerful red to cool, confident blue, the colour of your website can do as much to evoke emotion in your users as the best written copy in the world. The basics of colour theory should be second nature to us, but just in case, let’s take a moment to refresh our memories.



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