Tuesday UX Trainer: How to use color in your designs

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You’re reading an issue of Tuesday UX Trainer, a series that teaches you something new about UX design every week.

Today’s training? Using color in design.

Here are the top 3 practical resources for working with color in your designs…

1. Color In Sight (20 min documentary on color in design)

“If Coca Cola changed that red, to it’s [actual color] dull brown, it’s going to go out of business.” (Frank Kozik, Kidrobot)


Like any good documentary, Color in Sight interviews many design experts from color maker Pantone to Cornell’s Food & Brand labs on many unexpected angles of how color is used in industry.

Instead of Game of Thrones this weeknight, watch Color in Sight – a documentary about how the details of color influence design & the products around us.

Watch the doc here: https://vimeo.com/183072132

2. How to use color to prove your point (GREAT article)

This article It has a ton of useful insights about color, like…

  1. Colors close together in color space–green and yellow are right beside each other, for instance– are also perceptually close. It’s best not to use two colors that are perceptually close together in data visualizations.
  2. Colors at small sizes become less “colorful” – size matters.
  3. Colors can evoke emotional connections–blues and purples are perceived as more pleasant than yellows, for example.

And if you’re a color geek, the subject of this article has the coolest job ever – it dives a bit into how Maureen Stone works with information designers at Tableau (data viz giant) to create and chose the best colors for data visualizations.

Read it here: https://www.fastcodesign.com/3062182/how-to-use-color-to-prove-your-point-from-a-data-viz-expert

3. Adobe Color (still the best color picker tool)

Formerly known as Kuler, Adobe Color is a free, immersive web tool that lets you explore colors across harmonies like analogous, triad & monotone.

I’ve checked out all the other popular color tools like Coolors.co and Paletton, but keep coming back to Adobe Color for its speed + flexibility of generating a custom color palette.

Adobe power users already have access to these powerful color tools within their software, but the colors website still offers quick inspiration when you just need to break out of your color prison.

Play with the tool here: https://color.adobe.com

4. Life Hack With Color Psychology (Training Course)

This is one of the most fascinating courses on color I’ve ever watched – color expert Kristen Palana teaches you how to use color in various aspects of life (not just strictly in a design job), like:

  • Using color intelligently to better position your brand
  • Recognize how the media subtly uses color to persuade the masses
  • How YOU can better influence your audience to take certain actions through smart color use

I didn’t think “life hacking” and “color” could be related, but this author does it in a fun and engaging way. And to be honestly, the lessons were a lot more memorable than a dense course on color theory.

So if you’re a beginner designer looking to employ color in various assets of your work (and life), check out Kristen’s training here:

Life Hack With Color Psychology: Increase Your Influence

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Keep learnin’,

Oz / UX Coach @ UXBeginner.com

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