“Colors have meaning,” design experts say. Are you using the right colors when designing online training modules for employees?
There are 11 main colors – red, yellow, green, blue, orange, purple, pink, brown, gray, black and white – that when combined can create thousands of other shades of colors.
Businesses often use their brand colors for training materials, but what other colors should be used to emphasize key points or make it easy for employees to connect with the content?
When creating training modules, use light shades of cool colors – green, blue or violet – to provide a soothing, calm and relaxed feeling for employees reading the information. Design researchers explain the meaning of these colors:
• Green, the most restful color for the eye, emphasizes tranquility, freshness and growth. It projects feelings of calmness and positivity. It’s a good color for these topics: fitness, well-being, health, finance, and safety.
- Blue is connected with feelings of honesty and virtue and helps people think creatively. Darker tones of blue reflect openness and lighter hues assist in concentration and project reliability. It’s a good color to use when explaining complicated material or helping learners not to get distracted.
- Purple is associated with wisdom, creativity, and imagination. Bright tones of purple suggest romance and spring, and darker shades indicate mysteriousness and luxury. Design experts recommend using purple for materials related to soft-skills as it can stimulate problem-solving, intuition and creativity.
Use warm colors – red, yellow and orange—to emphasize key points or draw attention to specific ideas. Here’s what the colors mean:
• Red boosts motivation as it creates a sense of urgency.
• Yellow projects optimism and cheerfulness. It stimulates attention and boosts memory. But avoid using bright yellow for online text as it can be difficult to read.
• Orange aids in communication and optimism. When sharing dull information, use orange to make it more exciting. The color also helps boost creativity.
If you want to communicate feelings of security, friendliness or seriousness, use the color brown. It’s also a good neutral color to even out the mood of the learning material.
How to use color
Consider these tips for using color to boost employee learning of online training materials:
• Create a color key – Identify the background and accent color shades that complement your brand colors for learning materials.
• Be consistent – Use the same colors for the same types of information. Employees viewing training modules will feel more at ease and find the information relevant and reliable.
• Avoid saturation – Use colors tastefully in the training materials. Don’t overwhelm employees with colors, otherwise they will be distracted and won’t pay attention to the information.
• Watch contrast – Make sure the colors complement each other on the screen so employees pay attention to the information vs. the colors.