Why You Shouldn’t Use Your Brand Color on Buttons

Optimizing call-to-action buttons for all users

UX Movement


Many apps use their brand color on their call-to-action buttons. Doing this may seem like a harmless act of branding, but it can actually hurt the user experience. Brand-colored buttons can lead to inaccessible text labels, button state conflicts, and a lower clickthrough rate.

Inaccessible Text Labels

Brand-colored buttons often have inaccessible text labels. Many brand colors are chosen without any consideration to accessibility. Instead, they’re chosen based on what looks most appealing on a logo. When that same brand color is applied to buttons, the text labels become difficult for visually impaired users to read.

If a brand’s primary color is orange, making call-to-action buttons orange would render the label inaccessible. For example, applying Home Depot’s orange to a button would give it a color contrast ratio of 3.0. The ratio for optimal accessibility is 4.5. This button color would cause issues for visually impaired users.

Button State Conflicts

Red is a special color on buttons because it’s used to signify a warning state. Buttons that have destructive actions for deleting data are red to warn users of potential danger.

If your brand color is red, making your buttons the same color could conflict with any destructive actions on the interface. Users could click a dangerous action under the impression that it’s a regular action and delete data accidentally.

Conversely, regular actions that are red could cause concern. Users might hesitate to click a red call-to-action button if they’ve already experienced a destructive action.

Lower Clickthrough Rate

The chances are that buttons aren’t the only element on your interface that use your brand color. If any other elements on the screen also use the brand color, users will scroll past your buttons.



UX Movement

There’s a good and bad way to design user interfaces. Our publication shows you which way gives the best user experience. https://uxmovement.substack.com