Web design
Mobile applications design
August 7

Picking a Color Scheme for Your App: How to Make It Simple?

Along with functionality, your application’s colors are a key aspect. The user’s impression of your application is formulated through interaction with graphics UI elements, which is a crucial factor.
Selecting the color scheme that will suit your application is a long process since there is an infinite number of existing patterns. So now you can immediately answer this article’s main question: there is no easy way to choose a color scheme for your app. However, do not rush to give up on this text. You may not even realize how significant and exciting this process is.

Below, we will mention the most crucial points that relate to selecting a color palette for your application. We’ve paid special attention to the UI details and outlined how to increase your brand prevalence and your application usability thanks to the proper colors.

The basics are vital


In order to select the correct colors for the application, you must be familiar with the fundamentals. Therefore, the color circle will be your best friend.

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There are two ways to select a color scheme: using the existing standard palettes or creating your own scheme. The first option is preferable if you aren’t confident in your skills and don’t want to risk, or waste too much time. The second option is a huge field for experiments. It suits well if you have enough time and resources to try different variants.

There are several methods to detect the proper colors. The analogous method involves choosing the main color and using it together with the colors that are situated next to it in the circle. As a result, one color dominates while others complement it. The diversity of colors does not hurt the eyes, and all segments look organic and harmonious.

The next method is monochromatic. With this option, you choose a single color and use only its tones and shadows. Such a method will produce an enjoyable impression for the eyes, especially if you use natural colors, such as blue or green.

Complementary scheme. By using this method, you take a few (usually two) colors that aren’t adjacent in the color circle. For example, red and blue, or green and yellow, which are contrasting. The skilled and limited use and arrangement of these colors will allow highlighting certain elements or parts of your app. This method is applied by experienced designers.

Important tips


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Whichever method you choose, remember that your application’s UI must be as pleasant and convenient for the user as possible. Here are some tips to maintain this.

  1. Determine your target audience. Information about your potential users’ needs, interests and preferences will help you determine the necessary colors. Perhaps, your TA prefers usual color palettes.
  2. Analyze your competitors. Perform research to find the already existing apps on the market in order to compare them. This will help you identify common design patterns. Although it’s up to you to decide whether to use them or not, it may be better to abandon the existing options and make your application unique in this segment.
  3. Concentrate on content. Especially on its quality and the way it is represented. The size of the elements, text, borders — all this will have a huge influence on your application’s final layout.
  4. Usability and readability. Make sure that your screen is “clean” and your app’s mechanics help the user to interact with all elements. Choose a scheme that will contribute to an intuitive perception of the product.
  5. UI components order. The color must help the customer to intuitively understand which elements of your application are interactive and which aren’t, and how these components relate to each other (which unit is more important).
  6. Content legibility. Text, borders, buttons, background and other elements of your application must be clearly distinguishable. Make sure that the white elements are not set against a white background, etc. Following the lead of Apple, many brands are now switching to ‘dark user interface’. You could also try it to make important content stand in stark contrast to the background.
  7. Your brand has a color. You must think strategically and use the colors of your brand in your application in order to make the app & brand recognizable and intuitively associated. Netflix is a very good example. Check it and you will immediately catch the point.
  8. Communicate through colors. Take advantage of your color scheme to attract users’ attention and pass important information. However, you should do it gently (e.g. — red colors for error notification should only be used for errors, not for any other system notifications).
  9. Geographical attributes. One of the most important aspects — you should be aware of your audience’s geographical location. Same colors can mean diametrically opposite things in different countries. In China, for example, white color is the first association with death, disease, misery, while for most countries it is life, peace, and calmness. It is crucial to understand your audience’s preferences in order to avoid conflicts. Try to use the most neutral colors if you want to cover as many countries as possible.
  10. Be open to assistance. It isn’t necessary to risk and choose color pallets on your own if you aren’t sure which layout your application should have. There is a list of excellent resources designed to guide you through the color choosing dilemma.

  • Color Hunt. A large collection of users’ palettes is on open access and is free for commercial use. In the Popular section, you can find the most liked and trendy palettes, so your application will have one of the greatest and most recognizable color schemes.
  • FlatUiColors. This is another large collection of palettes that grows on a daily basis.
  • Coolors. This resource will help you generate a free color scheme in a single spacebar click. Then you will see the tones and shades of the selected primary color and be free to interact and experiment with them.

A final word


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An effective universal color scheme is a myth if you want your app design to be uncommon. The designer must select a scheme based not only on their taste and impressions but also on many other factors like customer perception, brand positioning, and even geographical location of the target audience.

Pablo Picasso once said: “Colors, like features, follow the changes of the emotions.” When creating a design for your app, be Pablo Picasso of sorts — follow your customer and the changes of their emotions. Picking colors for your application is a fascinating process. Don’t be afraid to experiment and make your application unique.

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