With Great Colors Comes Great Responsibility

When creating a Ninox database solution, it’s easy to add lots of colors to any variety of objects. Whether it’s choices in a Choice Field, Click Buttons or form background colors, there are more than a few ways to add eye candy to your database. When it comes to adding color to your database however, remember the old wisdom that says “just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should do something.”

 This advice is particularly sound when you are building a Ninox application that others are going to use. Keep in mind that users will look for meaning behind any non-standard component of the user interface. For example, you may colorize all buttons in your system with blue except for those that trigger the deletion of content and those you may present in red. As blue is the defined standard, the user will rightfully expect there to be something about the red buttons that demands a non-standard visual treatment. In another example, you may present all of the numbers in a column in standard text while the number at the very bottom – the bottom line as it were – appears is blue bold text. Again, this exception to the visual standard implies there is something special about that final figure.

 In the situations described above, the reserved use of color and formatting can serve to make the system more intuitive and the user experience more pleasant as the user will be able to easily navigate your screen designs and find the critical information they demand. But if you overuse the colors, or mix bold, italicized and standard fonts all over the place and to the point where there is no discernable standard, what could be a valuable and powerful tool in your UI design toolbox will become a distraction reducing usability and, potentially, turning off your users.
So when it comes to colors and all of the various formatting options developers have at their disposal in Ninox, remember – less is almost always more and just because you can doesn’t mean you should.