Take The Mequoda Daily Order Button Color Quiz!

Usability Testing Enhances Website Design

Executive Summary

  • Order button color can have a significant impact on response
  • A large publisher with hundreds of information products ran a big test
  • Be among the first 10 readers to post the winning order button color and I’ll send you an Amazon Gift Certificate absolutely free!

Like Alias’ Jack Bristow, “I’ve been trying to have more fun.” I suspect you may need a little more fun in your life, too. With that in mind, I thought we could do a little reader participation contest today.

The Test: A large publisher was using a fire-engine red order button with white letters (see order button #1) throughout his online store. The site had a very clean blue and gold color scheme with a white background and black type. Full color product shots were available for all products.

He had read that “response red” was the order button color that would draw the highest response rates. Being a guy that would test everything, conventional wisdom be damned, he decided to test the three alternate order button color combination’s (red/white, green/white, yellow/black, orange/black) shown below:

Option A order buttons
Option B order buttons
Option C order buttons
Option D order buttons

Results: The test was run for a full week with order button click-through for all four versions in the thousands. Compared to the loser, the winner increased response and revenues by 27 percent.

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Post your answer with a brief explanation. I’ll post the actual results of the test next Friday. If you’ve run a similar test, post a brief run down of your test and the results. If you’d just like to make an educated guess, go for it!

Bonus: The first ten posts to identify the winning order button color will receive an Amazon Gift Certificate—plus my eternal gratitude and respect.

Lessons: Fun is good; and some things in life really are free!

Note: As always, the details of the case have been modified to protect the identity of the publisher and their program. Void where prohibited by law or any other buzz kill. Mequoda Group, LLC is an Amazon.com Associate.

Comments
    Suzanne L.

    My guess is that the GREEN button would generate more sales.

    Many purchases on the Net are generated via impulse buying (awareness is less), so keeping all doors open for the buyer generates more sales. Any negative barriers like ‘the price’ are actually felt more strongly than the positive reasons for purchasing (Reaearch on brain imaging studies illustrate this). So it is imperative to keep the negative barriers to a minimum.

    The color green is used worldwide in traffic signals and represents “Go”. This would be noted unconsciously by the user and would in some cases provide that last little bit of incentive for the purchase. Obviously, following this logic, the color ‘Red’ represents “Stop”. For purchasers who are a little unsure, this would be a final disincentive.

    Reply
    Marlene J.

    Option D.

    The green is pretty but fades into the background. Red is overdone. It could be yellow, but the gold looks classier — while still grabbing attention.

    Reply

    I vote for green. It does say “go” to me. It also was my immediate gut feeling and I like to “go” with those.
    Can’t wait to see the result.

    Reply

    I vote for option “C”, yellow/black

    I’m not sure that I can explain why, but I think it is less intimidating to view, it is high contrast (black on yellow), and many of the “big gun” sites on the Internet use yellow as the background color for interactive boxes (so people would be used to or comfortable with this combination.

    Interesting discussion – after all, why should a button color have any affect on someone’s buying decision? It must be that some folks teeter back and forth on whether they should push the button or not . . . and if they feel less threatened then they justify going forward.

    Steve

    Reply

    My guess is that the green button on the white background increased response. White works better than black as a background color and green is both the color of money (“oh, I have to pay now…”) and its use is still somewhat novel, so it likely jumps out to readers. BTW, the Mequoda Summit was very valuable…a great experience overall!

    Reply

    I think it was the green one. I don’t have a theory as to why. That one just looks like the one I would click.

    Reply

    Option “C” is my pick. It catches my attention much better than the others.

    Black or a dark color on a yellow (or greenish yellow) is the best contrast for the human eye to detect. That is my reason for thinking the yellow button was the winner.

    Looking forward to the seeing the real results. This is good information. Thanks for doing the research.

    Jerry Minchey
    http://www.SearchEngineU.com

    Reply
    Nikhil P.

    The gold button… because Amazon uses it, and they are pretty smart about such things. OK, thats not a great explanation, but I can also confirm that it appeals to me the most of the 4 buttons. Yet I would never let the color of the button decide whether or not I buy something.

    Reply

    The darker yellow button has to be the winner. Yellow jumps out at the reader and asks for attention.

    Reply
    Stuart J.

    I go with C, yellow with black type. While I see a lot of red buttons, my guess is that the bulk of those have not been tested.

    Besides the color, did he test the copy? That is where I have seen the big jumps in response rate.

    Reply

    Option C. Not only is the black on yellow contrast more legible. The yellow has the highest contrast and visibility against the white background.

    Reply
    Martin I.

    Option C.
    I think it is more inviting than the others. However, I leave nothing to chance and would test this type of thing too.

    Reply

    It has to be option C because the color contrast is strongest.

    Check out this link for a colorblindness test result:

    http://colorfilter.wickline.org

    Option C had the most contrast.

    I don’t think it’s a fair test of “red” vs. “green” vs “orange” etc.. buttons, because the contrasting text is different on all of them Using simple words like “red button” doesn’t really get to the level of detail that our eyes can – and sometimes can’t – see.

    Reply

    Hi Everyone:

    Thanks for all the feedback.

    Option D, the Orange and Blue button is the big winner.

    The full results:

    Red and White: Index = 100
    Green and White: Index = 114
    Yellow and Black: Index = 122
    Orange and Blue: Index = 127

    My theory: Because blue is the coldest and orange is the warmest of all the colors, when combined they result in a unique combination of high contrast that is also highly balanced and complementary to the human eye.

    For more information on color theory, check out:

    http://www.cyber-prof.com/mdia1194/Lesson%203/lesson3-color-wheel.htm

    Note that opposites on the color wheel offer the highest visual contrast.

    Our winners will receive Amazon gift certificates early next week.

    Thanks again to everyone who participated.

    Don

    Reply

    The green one wins. Simply because we’re programmed to go ahead with green, rather than any other colour.

    Reply
    Maritza L.

    Option C: Yellow, easy to read and eye-catching. Red would stop me.

    The green might be a possibility because it usually means go in traffic.

    Reply

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