I am software + hardware engineer who possibly does a same common job as others with a similar qualification.

I am under the process of designing, developing and publishing a mobile application where a user can manage their money related data (precisely a finance related application). I aim to target all mobile devices (phones, tablets and whatever might come up next).

Currently I plan to make the design as simple as possible and as far as I have developed mobile apps in past, I prefer to avoid more colors from the app.

Hence, should it be a good idea to make use of only black and white (of course with some shades of the both, plus a few colors to show errors, warning etc) in my application?

  • 1
    Colors can evoke emotion and can direct persons towards a certain interaction, just like red is often used for error messages urging the user to react on the error or blue is used to create a sense of trustworthiness. It is however up to you, it's not inherent a bad idea to create a black and white design. Commented Jan 7, 2014 at 10:16
  • @Paul: Um yeah, I get that. That's why I felt asking such a question here and other places as well. The app serves the purpose of just one thing and that is to manage your income and expense + some very minimal analytic about the same. I do not want some one to feel as if they were playing a game or some enterprise thing ;). Just make an entry, get some insights and that's it. Nothing more. Commented Jan 7, 2014 at 11:11

2 Answers 2


I'm not sure why you have this hesitance against using accent colors in your app, especially in an app which I assume will display data records of different categories (expenses/income) in a timeline. The use of color coding to visually differentiate between the records sounds like a slam dunk for me.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not encouraging you to use a blue-ish/red-ish background with dark green text on top of it, not at all. Stick with a light white background with dark text for content, but please introduce some accent colors for CTA's/charts(which I think a financial app should have)/category titles/buttons/etc... Both for making interactive elements pop but also to make it visually appealing.

You say you want to use white and different shades of gray for your palette and then use red and yellow for errors and warnings. But unless you expect the user to trigger these errors and warnings regularly (which will probably make them abandon the app anyway) I think the app will be a visually bland experience. It can still be useful in the sense that it tells the user what they need to know, but a flat uninviting UI will not entice the user to explore the app whatsoever and any features you introduce in the future may therefore go unnoticed because the app tells the user in its visual representation "I'm uninteresting, I probably have nothing more to give you. Please, stop looking at me...".

To make the app successful you need to capture the aesthetic elements for your app.


I assume that the main audience-age-group of your app is 25-50 years old.

IMO, Choosing high-contrast combinations like Black-White may not be perfect, this combination mostly is boring and hurts eyes for long-time use. Which will overall dislike for your app in user subconscious.

IMO, better option is to use:

  • Deep-blue instead of Black; that is the color of this UX site.
  • cream-white or off-white instead of pure-white
  • Well I do agree to what you want to suggest, and yes I shall not be using any high-contrast color combination rather as of now I plan to make use of this: Light (White) background and black text + light shades of red (for error), yellow (for warning) etc. FYI, I will consider experimenting with various palettes to make use of and I have made up my mind to consider Flat UI design principals. Commented Jan 7, 2014 at 11:07
  • 1
    I think the comment of 'boring' is interesting. Black, white and gray can be associated with boring. A right color scheme could help keep the users intrigued. The app Clear is a fine example of that Commented Jan 7, 2014 at 11:31
  • @paul on a related note, the color "Grey" reminds us a rainy, cloudy day :|
    – kmonsoor
    Commented Jan 7, 2014 at 13:10

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.