At workplace I was asked to design the interface for mobile application (for tablets and mobile phones). I'm not a professional designer so I got stuck already with the colour scheme.

This application considers ecology therefore I think I should use some light green in it. I'm quite sure that if I don't my chief and colleagues will ask "why there is no green in it?" I also expect they won't be completly satisifed with dark green. I must be light, juicy, leaf-like green.

Then I'm not quite sure there's a possibility to include it in any decent colour scheme. I tried online colour scheme designers for websites but for the results that looked nice green was not very vivid.

My main concern is what background should I use. In desktop version we use light green window bars, elements with white (100% white) background. It looks ok, I think mainly because minimal accents in other bright colours (yellow, blue and red) are also present, separated with light gray.

At first I though white background is not a good choice, because it would use more energy (which would be really unwanted in eco application). Then I learnt that using dark scheme can actually take more energy:


The thing is I'm not sure that customers know it and they will still find very bright application wrong. It can be also tyring for the eyes (personal experience). But then if I use dark background (dark grey one, I learnt total black is not so good from here: http://ianstormtaylor.com/design-tip-never-use-black/) won't it look funny (too Matrix-like)?

I read about light and dark background advantages and disadvantages:

What are the negative and positive aspects of dark color scheme?


but I'm not sure I should bother so much with prolonged usability, because the most common usage example is turning application for few seconds, choosing some options and going out. I think the most important thing is that its desing would attract people to get interested with our product (I mean larger system, not application only). Also, application will be used indoors only.

Do you think it is possible to include light green in such application? Can you suggest some alternatives?

  • You might be better off asking this in the Graphic stack exchange forum. However I would also recommend looking colorlovers.com to see what color combinations work in the color scheme you are looking.
    – Mervin
    Commented Sep 26, 2012 at 19:49
  • The problem with using such pallets is they don't have texture in it. The colours are only plain like on striped skirt. I can't imagine them with gloss or something like that. There is also difference in if one colour is surrounded by another or every colour can be put next to every colour, it's hard to express it in such a palette. Commented Sep 26, 2012 at 20:14

2 Answers 2


Do you have the functionality and interaction flow already designed? I would recommend starting with the core first and figuring out the color later. It is tempting to make thing look pretty to early and then you can get stuck with a lot of work that has to be redone. The color also often is driven by the branding guidelines. So you may want to contact branding/marketing to see which color scheme you can work with. Even if your users need to interact with your app once it is still very important to make it very usable because you may only have once chance to capture the user or they'll go and user another app. I am not saying it shouldn't look nice because that is really important for the perception of your product quality as well.

  • 1
    I think you have a point here. I already designed the functionality and most interaction because at first I thought it is what I'm to do when asked to design the interface. But it turned out they were rather talking about the look of application. I would be happy with creating the application and then messing up with css to see what it looks like but they want to have some graphical decisions now, so that future developers will know what to do (I think I won't stay there long enough to finish the application). Commented Sep 26, 2012 at 20:33

If you do not have a formal training in design, and you are building upon an already existing product, I would keep the color scheme from the existing product to maintain some brand alignment.

Another issue you seem to run into is fighting off opinions from a diversity of people. Design by committee rarely works. You should plan on testing different alternative design with usser, rating desirability or aesthetics. The following paper describes state of the art in assessing aesthetics in UI, and proposes a set of dimensons for obtaining a rating:

Assessing Dimensions of Perceived Visual Aesthetics of Web Sites, Tali Lavie and Noam Tractinsky

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