We all know that a great deal of marketing strategy goes into making an app, more so those apps that go onto become successful and lasting presences in our daily lives.
But what if I told you that part of what makes an app successful is the colour it conveys to us in its design?
What does it say about an app that subliminally attempts to infiltrate the user’s subconscious defences with colour? Should we trust the apps that have utilised these psychological attacks?
Facebook, Twitter, Google Authenticator, the Iphone email app. What do they have in common other than their pervasive and integrated use in society?
They are all blue…
A harmless coincidence, I am sure many are thinking, but when we apply colour psychology, we begin to see that blue means something to the human psyche.
Blue conveys a number of qualities. It is calming and serene, indicating stability, order and reliability. These qualities are foremost indicative of a central core quality that is constancy, which in turn coaxes trust from the observer.
We naturally trust what is dependable and unchanging. This is hardwired into our DNA. Change presents danger, constancy, safety. Our primitive and precursory nervous systems submit to fear above all else, and changes in our perception of it are strong impulses, even now as we use our more developed prefrontal cortex to modulate our feelings and primal instincts.
What else is trust? It does not only relate to our monkey brain response to fear stimuli, but also to the quality of sedation which is linked to calmness and tranquillity. Sedation is the quality of calmness induced usually by drug use. A major class or type of drug, the sedative artificially induces sleep, quiet or calm in the patient. Blue is a natural visual sedative because of the qualities which it carries with the subconscious.
So, your blue apps are constantly signalling, often unbeknownst to you, that they are ‘trustworthy’, that you should be calm and sedated while using them.
Some of you may be thinking, ‘this sounds like a good idea – I would like to be calmer when I use apps!’ And on the surface, it is not a bad idea to encourage trust in users, but we must look at this within the wider subtext of the apps in question.
Almost always, these are apps that deal with sensitive information, personal information, data which, if in the wrong hands, can wreak personal and social havoc.
How many political scandals have involved email interceptions or coincidental ‘misplacement’ of important records and vital evidences? How many times do we need to see Facebook implicated in public data mining incidents like the Analytica scandal?
Almost none of the apps that claim the colour of trust as their own, can be trusted to secure personal information which protects the public. In some cases, these apps are actively deceiving us into selling our information for some universal need, be it connection to one another, or communication in all variety of personal and professional lanes.
With that in mind, one does wonder: ‘What does an app that has no interest in public trust need to convey subliminal trust to its users?’ It is one thing to claim you are trustworthy overtly, but to claim it in such an insidious way strikes of ill-intent from the start.
Take care to consider the colour of the apps that you use. They are telling you something without saying it to you in a way you may consciously understand. Such covert methods must be considered in the light of suspicion.
Blue blinkers hood our eyes. Actions speak louder than words. It is what you do and say, not the colour you convey, which earns honest respect. It is time our social media giants started being trustworthy, rather than dressing up in its colours. We deserve honesty, not trickery, and that your apps are blue, while your social profiles are picked clean by your providers, like carrion for crows, we are no closer to honesty and racing towards deceit.
In nature, dangerous things signal their danger in the colour they display. Yellow is poisonous and red signals danger. The primordial flush of fear we feel is written into our DNA.
Blue is not always order and trust, but sometimes deception and sedation.
The banner must meet the carrier in action, or it is a lie.
Watch for the banner your apps carry. Turncloaks and mercenaries carry many flags, almost always for pride, power or gold.