Higgledy Haven

desirabilityColors, their schemes, and contrasting arrangements play an important role in increasing, or depressing, the Desirability of a product. Colors play an important role in invoking emotions, conveying themes, and guiding messaging.

Quick-UX provides for the rapid, simple and quantifiable assessment of a product’s User Experience (UX). In answering the question of Desirability, "Do I want it?" the sub-category of Color Scheme plays an important role.

For Example: HavenWorks

Some havens present many distractions to the mere mortal, and this one, HavenWorks, presents no shortage of User Experience problems that can be explored. But, for today’s conversation, we will focus on this product’s ability to be a strong example possessed by a cluttered pallet and Fair Color Scheme, and achieving a Quick-UX Color Scheme variable value of 0.5.


This product’s consumers are instantly overcome with very strong, bright, highly contrasting primary colors all competing for their attention.


Sin of Overstimulation

Instead of presenting a simple, harmonious, color scheme, this product assaults the eyes with a combination of both intra- and inter-element color and contrast discord and overstimulation.


While readable, altogether, the colors of this product create a persistent state of disharmony and conflict, perhaps inline with the state of politics that this product covers, but too overt in their presentation and welcomed by no one desiring the information that this color scheme masks; an orgy of colored hot spots seeking to draw the user’s attention, pulling the user from red to blue, green to white, etc. and back around again and again.


Should Do

A bit more work than last week’s example may be required to improve this product’s Color Scheme. A good place to start in sheltering this product’s visitors from color overload (and "contrast abuse") can be achieved by reducing the level and frequency of contrast through…

  • Minimizing the number of primary colors on the page, and
  • Reducing the number of elements and points of contrast.
    • Leverage the colors to group common elements, use hues to transition or sharper contrasts to emphasize (occasionally — this should be the exception, unlike the current color implementation).

Quick & Useful

The variables Aesthetics, Layout, Color Scheme, and Typography represent the Usefulness category of Quick-UX for the evaluated product. When looking at an entire product, the question “Do I want to use it?” represents only 1 of the 3 core components (Usability, Usefulness, Desirability) of a Quick-UX evaluation – a rapid way to obtain concrete and comparable means by which to assess a single product or compare its strengths and weaknesses to other products.

Over the next few weeks I will be various good, as well as bad, real-world examples of use of Color and Contrast in online products and websites …

Poor Color Scheme
Fair Color Scheme (Cluttered)
Fair Color Scheme (Mismatched Color)
Good Color Scheme (First Example)
Good Color Scheme (Second Example)

Subscribe now (click here) to make sure you don’t miss any part of this series exploring the Desirability and Color Scheme components of Quick-UX, the quick and easy method of generating quantifiable and comparable metrics representing the understanding of the overall User Experience of a product, as well as other insightful posts from The Product Guy.


Jeremy Horn
The Product Guy

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About Jeremy Horn

Jeremy Horn is an award-winning, product management veteran with 2 decades of experience leading and managing product teams. Jeremy has held various executive and advisory roles, from founder of several start-ups to driving diverse organizations in online services, consumer products, and wearables. As founder of The Product Group, he has created the largest product management meetup in the world and hosts the annual awarding of The Best Product Person. Accelerating the next evolution of product management, Jeremy acted as creator and instructor of the 10-week product management course at General Assembly and The New School, and mentoring at Women 2.0 and Lean Startup Machine (where is he also a judge). To see where Jeremy is now check him out at (1) http://linkedin.com/in/TheProductGuy and (2) http://TheProductGuy.com

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