I have an app with a screen for a list, a screen for a photo preview, a screen with fields for entering data and of course a splash screen.

Should I use a single gradient/plain color background for all of them?
If so, what kind of background would be suitable.

I am not a designer and my experiment using a dark gradient with

bottom da840a

looked garish and uncomfortable with both light and dark fonts on top of the background.

  • Orange to golden wheat? It's too saturated for a background.
    – Dan D.
    Nov 24, 2013 at 11:06
  • I found out the painful way,my app does OCR by the way Nov 25, 2013 at 3:43

2 Answers 2


Images tend to look better on a neutral background...any background color you choose has the possibility to clash with whatever colors happen to be in the image.

I'm not sure what your app is for, but a degree of that orange glowing energy (and possibly discomfort) may make your users more quick or willing to act (the link below discusses these user forces and how they can be used to your benefit). This is good if you're trying to make them quickly move through a process, but maybe not the best if you want them to sit and browse for a while. Think through your ideal user interaction and get a feel for the colors from there. http://boxesandarrows.com/emotional-design-with-a-c-t-part-1/

I agree that the orange is really bright, and may not be conveying the message you're hoping to communicate. Certain colors have different connotations, and it might be worth knowing what your viewers might subconsciously feel because of the colors you've chosen. http://www.colour-affects.co.uk/psychological-properties-of-colours

  • My app does OCR,it has a splash,a main with choices between camera and gallery,an imagepreview and a scanned result. Nov 25, 2013 at 3:45

As a general rule backgrounds for screens showing photos should be black, white or a shade of grey in order to minimize the apparent shift in chroma or hue via simultaneous contrast interaction. In other words colored backgrounds change the perceived colors of an image.

A gradient background (colored or B/W/grey) will introduce another component that will interfere with the perception of the image, and would be a very bad choice, IMO. I recommend a solid black, white or grey background. If you need to use a colored background I recommend a neutral or low saturation color.

I strongly recommend not to use a gradient background for photos.

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