I have a column layout (left column is the main article and right column is the sidebar) for a website. All of the links are orange, but I want to make the sidebar menu links dark gray. Could this be perceived as confusing to users? All the other styles of the anchor are the same with the exception of the color property.
It's a well established convention to style the nav menu links differently from the main text links. The nav menu, either on a sidebar or a top bar, is also a well established convention and people understand that they contain the main navigation links, even if they're not styled like the other links on the page. If you look at the sites of usability advocates/experts, (Nielsen/Norman, Steve Krug, Alan Cooper), they all use nav links that are not styled like the main content text links.