Many companies add satisfaction surveys to their emails and thank you pages. In the case of a thumbs up/thumbs down survey, is it smart to use color to increase the amount of responses?

I see two main disadvantages with the color red/green: in Asia, colors are used in the contrary and the colors hardly ever fit with the branding of the company. So survey usually looks unprofessional.

The advantage I see is that it is faster to scan for the user what is the "good" answer or the "bad", because colors add redundancy to the meaning.

What do you think is best, red/green option or one color option?

Multi-color option

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  • Red/Green option - We tend to associate them with good or bad, easy to differentiate how many green thumbs up and vice versa. For same color thumbs up, I believe my mind has to perform an extra step to differentiate whats good or whats bad
    – ammu
    Nov 30, 2018 at 12:54

2 Answers 2


I believe that trying to influence response rate by increasing the input visibility will lead to bias anyways, as response rate will increase only for those affected by the change. If non-response is a problem, I'd advice instead to look into which variable influences the difference in response rate the most, whether it is the medium, device, platform, age, location, etc.

Unless there's no apparent divide between the two groups and nonresponse seems to occur randomly, I wouldn't consider aesthetic improvements to the form as a means to increase response rate.


It depends.

It depends on culture, branding and color association. It's up to you to consider these factors and make a choice.

Red has, for example, multiple associations. You might consider red to be the color of danger but someone else might associate red with passion and love. It might be better to use neutral colours, like blue.

Also consider color blindness. Never only use colours to get your message across. Use the thumbs up and down icons like you do.

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