The app I'm working on is using red CTA buttons. We use one CTA/screen (or at least that's what we do since I joined).

I have now people questioning how effective red CTA buttons are. We don't have an a/b testing tool right now and I don't want to make the devs change the CTA in android or iOS just to test that.

Does anyone have any solid research on CTA buttons in mobile apps that are used exclusively and not against other colours?

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    This is incredibly dependent on your application. Are you trying to compare between different CTA in a given screen, or just a singular instance of a CTA's color. Because if it's the singular cta color, it doesn't matter what color it is unless it's muddled amongst other UI colors. Usually if something looks like a button, it tends to perform relatively well.
    – UXerUIer
    Feb 5, 2021 at 1:55
  • Just a singular colour, and I've read everywhere it doesn't matter but people are asking for receipts (or to change the colour)...
    – Mike Mark
    Feb 5, 2021 at 9:24
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    Is the assumption that the colour red is the primary corporate branding colours and therefore the only choice? There are still ways to use the colour red in a sensible way without it seem like it's overwhelming or distracting to the user so that could just be avoiding a solid fill for the CTA button and using accents instead.
    – Michael Lai
    Feb 8, 2021 at 1:25
  • The thing is that the buttons are now red, we have no quantitative or qualitative data against the buttons. We actually have a much better conversion than industry standards in many of the pages, and our development capacity is limited. I don't want to waste dev time in that case.
    – Mike Mark
    Feb 8, 2021 at 9:53
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    We have only 2 CTA's (Primary Red #c60c30 and Secondary White #FFFFFF with #666666 border) within our design system. Due to its consistency across various applications, we never came across someone asking about the effectiveness of color. We usually present the button user interaction / engagement data via heat-maps to show the effectiveness. Feb 25, 2021 at 8:16

1 Answer 1


Maybe you could put it back to the detractors, if they feel red buttons and "less effective" perhaps ask them why they feel that? what have they seen/read which has given them that opinion? Try to understand where they are coming from with an open mind and see if any of their reasons are worth spending time investigating.

It sounds like you do actually have A/B type data in terms of your conversation vs industry standards and this for me is your justification (as well as the opportunity cost of making a change to something which is working).

I would suspect they likely have no data, meaning it's just an opinion thing. Often in Western culture people associate red by default with a negative action semantically, but when you look at colour psychology, red can be construed as energetic and exciting - https://www.verywellmind.com/the-color-psychology-of-red-2795821 which may suit your product. Additionally, the meaning of red in Eastern culture is very different

Red is a popular color in Chinese culture, symbolizing luck, joy, and happiness. It also represents celebration, vitality, and fertility in traditional Chinese color symbolism

Who is your user base? How might any of those points apply or not.

Ask them to put the data where their mouth is! especially if they are expecting your to defend your existing position!

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