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I'm from the UK and at my place of work we have a webstore for the UK, France, Spain, Germany and the Netherlands and each store has a "livechat" button at the bottom of the page that I have decided to make a pleasant green colour, nothing to harsh.

But I was wondering and can't seem to find anything on it but do any other countries use red as someone in the UK would use green? as is go/safe/use

I'm wondering whether some countries would prefer a red chat button as to them it may be more inviting whereas to someone from the UK it appears as almost like a warning

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I recently found out that in Chinese stock market apps (don't know about press, TV, etc..), red means "up" and green means "down". In Chinese culture red mean luck and prosperity.

I remarked to the Chinese people I was with that in "the west", stocks are usually marked the other way around, and they found it very strange. I think one of them said something like "Why would a declining stock be red? Red means up". It was incomprehensible to them.

Their reaction just goes to show how deep and intrinsic these things are. Color association is by no means "human". It is completely culture-dependent.

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  • Interestingly, traffic lights (both vehicle and pedestrian ones) in China use red for stop and green for go, though, like in Western countries. Also interestingly, even though in Chinese culture red may well mean luck and prosperity, your Chinese friend did not say "Red means luck.", nor "Red means prosperity.", but "Red means up." – O. R. Mapper Oct 8 '16 at 21:52
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The only proof of using red as a "no" button color to be wrong would be in Cherokee culture. They see the color red as triumph and success. It has of course different meanings around the world, but the only proof of misinterpreting a color would be the Cherokees. So if your target audience is Cherokees, choose another color. If not your pretty safe!

Ref: Cultural Meanings of Color and Color Symbolism

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I think that the best/common practice is to connect the color to a label and/or an icon. In In my opinion Colors are always something dangerous, with the support of the words and icons can avoid misunderstandings.

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  • 1
    I'm not sure that just labeling a coloured button with remove misunderstandings. If you coloured a Confirm button in Red and a Cancel button in Green on the same screen that's still going to be confusing to western users even with the text on them. – JonW Nov 27 '14 at 16:33
  • I didn't say that the labelling will remove all the misunderstandings. In my experience this approach contribute to decrease the users effort to complete a task. – Luigi Auditore Rossini Nov 28 '14 at 8:22
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The countries you are targeting right now are culturally related and therefore good to go with the green/red combination for go/stop. Anyhow, it's often not easy to find reliable information on cultural color coding.

I usually start with sa website like http://www.color-wheel-artist.com/color-meanings.html and then try to verify the information with other sources (best option: an interview of course).

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