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On the pages of many modern web services (including stackexchange webpages), there is a black header. What is the psychological effect of this? Is there any significance of it being black? Is there an optimal width for this header?

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I think it will largely depend on the context of which it is apart of. StackExchange and Google (although Google has changed recently) both use a ~35px-height top header, but they also both have other web applications of interest. As well, they have profiles that encompass many of their web applications. I believe this is their method for keeping those applications/sites available throughout multiple applications. I'm fairly certain the black is to differentiate it from the actual site/app, but that may be only one of the reasons.

As for optimal width I would say it should span the full page (100%).

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  • By width, I meant vertically (what you referred to as the height). – sawa Mar 29 '14 at 12:51
  • That's what I was thinking actually. I don't know how effective 35px would be. If you look at yahoo they use a 22px height bar. That's pretty small but it seems that it is still effective. – tbolt Mar 29 '14 at 12:52

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