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Red and green are strongly associated with "error" and "confirmation" so I was wondering whether it is okay to use those colors for elements which are not neccessarily notification/feedback items, like headlines, buttons etc. Is there any best practise when to avoid those colours?

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

As long as they are used consistently and fit within the visual design of whatever you are working on then it shouldn't be a problem. But use your judgement, if it looks wrong it probably is. Be aware if you have used a lot of red/green then it will be hard to use these colours to distinguish error messages, primary calls to action etc.

Personally I wouldn't overuse either of the colours as there are a lot of people who have issues with red green colour blindness:

Also its important to note, that for accessibility reasons, you should avoid using colour as the sole method to communicate. WCAG 2.0 - 1.4.1

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While truly monochrome vision is incredibly rare, red-green color-blindness is common. Random googling suggests 7-10% (depending on who you ask) of males are red-green color-blind. So, using red/green as a sole method for communication is especially bad. – Brian Aug 8 '13 at 19:15

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