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As I get ready to launch my mobile app I am in the process of reviewing a number of UI/UX issues. The app in question is broadly best described as a "shopping app". I find myself wondering - are there any studies looking at how people respond to color schemes at different times of the year? For example is a rich vibrant app UI likely to hold the user's attention more during the dreary months of winter and a cool relaxing UI more liable to work during summer?

Taking this a step further - how about a UI that alters its colors depending on the local weather? Has anything like this ever been done or studied?

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I don't know of any apps that have used this technique, but there's a paper out from from 2016, which refers to color perception and the environment and seasons.

This is the abstract: Human colour perception changes between seasons

Another reference from one of the authors:

What we are finding is that between seasons our vision adapts to changes in environment. So in summer when there is a much larger amount of foliage, our visual system has to account for the fact that on average we are exposed to far more green.

“In York, you typically have grey, dull winters and then in summer you have greenery everywhere. Our vision compensates for those changes and that, surprisingly, changes what we think ‘yellow’ looks like. It’s a bit like changing the colour balance on your TV.”

The test:

The researchers tested 67 men and women in January and June. Participants were placed in a darkened room, allowed to adjust to the light and then on a machine called a colorimeter asked to adjust a dial backwards and forwards until they felt they had reached the point where it had reached unique yellow – with no hint of a green or red.

“I take lots of measurements of the setting in both seasons, and find a shift in the average setting between seasons, ” Lauren said.

If anyone has found a UX case study for an app, please post.

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