How Colors Effect People

Finding I was drawn to colorful applications, such as my favorite notes app Tabbed Memos, I decided to do some research on why we are intrigued with certain colors.
Also noting that I prefer not only colorful apps but unusual ones. Some begin to look alike, one app can be rolled into another. I look for non-standard applications not by name or what they can do but by color and uniqueness. My eyes are drawn to color and animation.
Take for instance the app called CloudWord which has a plane pulling the name of your note on a banner across a blue sky. The sky has birds flying and clouds floating and all are in pale blues and whites. There is a very unusual app called Pearltrees where your websites are saved instead of the traditional bookmarks they become circles or as they are called pearls. You can rearrange these pearls into “trees” hence the name Pearltrees.

Let’s begin with the bright colors of Tabbed Memos. There is greens,reds, purples, yellows and all in different shades in between. Which lead me to an article published by rita.edu called “Why Color”:
Why do colors affect people’s moods? What is it that makes minds react differently to different colors?

A: Colors and moods are of great interest and also the subject of a lot of misunderstanding. It seems that colors do not affect moods in any consistent and intrinsic way. Instead we learn associations and those associations can have huge effects on our emotions and moods. For example, we might learn to associate red with danger and then later on viewing a red color in any context might evoke those feelings of fear, excitement, or anxiety associated with danger. Some of these associations are learned through our society and some are learned through individual experiences. The main thing to remember is that color can have a large affect on our emotions, but it is not the same for every person and the same colors don’t affect different people in the same way. There is still much about this topic that is not understood, but it is never as simple as those who like to associate a single color with a single emotion would make you think.

Q: Is there a connection between color and emotion?
Q: How does color affect our mood?

A: Absolutely! There is no doubt that color can have as large impact on our emotions and moods. However the effects (both the type and strength) are very individual. A color that makes me feel happy or energized might make you feel sad or tired. There are various reasons for these responses, but essentially they are learned from either cultural practices or significant individual events. There is a lot of misinformation on this topic. A good book for more information is Faber Birren’s “Color and Human Response”.

From what I am understanding the colors in Tabbed Memos for example make me happy and excited to use it. The colors stand out and bring back pleasant memories. I would assume certain colors speak to people and each person interprets them differently.

Let’s move on on the Pearltrees and CloudWord apps. Pearltrees has something different that stands out from the ordinary just as CloudWord which is a new approach or way of doing something which we do the over and over. A novel approach to the mundane. Pearltrees websites can be made into trees and CloudWord is your notes in a banner style being flown above the clouds. Both give me the feeling of wow look at me I have my every own tree or I have my thoughts flying high in the sky!
I will be doing a more in depth review on both applications later on but for right now I decided to investigate the colors behind the apps. If you have ever noticed ads draw your attention to colors the calm or excite the mind. Developers should do the same with deciding on colors. I have a few apps the I really wouldn’t use because they do have eye appeal or you could call it eye candy. Take a look at your own applications and see what one catch your attention.

© Patricia Florenco 2011

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