The default theme colors in forum software

Discussion in 'Forum Software' started by Merri, Mar 27, 2012.

  1. Merri

    Merri Ex-phpBB2 customizer

    As I've been thinking about things recently, I noticed one thing when I started working: almost all forum software has a blue default theme!

    • vBulletin: yes
    • phpBB: yes
    • MyBB: yes
    • IPB: yes
    • Vanilla: yes
    • XenForo: yes
    • SMF: yes
    • YaBB: yes
    • UseBB: yes
    • PunBB: yes
    • FluxBB: yes
    • FUDforum: yes
    • UBB: yes (and yellow instead of light gray! w00t!)
    • MiniBB: NO! (mostly light gray)
    • Simply AJAX Forum System: NO! (dark gray)
    • MercuryBoard: NO! (orange, obsolote...)

    While I have nothing against blue, it being one of my favorite colors, I do wonder why blue is so popular amongst forum software. It just makes me think it is being used only because forum software has always been blue. Or would the reason be that it is just mostly developers doing forum software and thus these things don't even get really that much attention, and not that much branding goes into the software?

    Personally I'm thinking on using a more naturish theme color on the default theme, brown and maybe green. That of course wouldn't be a very original choice for me as I'm running two boards that are brownish :D Anyway... would you think that a color choice makes a difference?

    Should forum software makers be more original with their color/design choices in general?
  2. rafalp

    rafalp Desu Ex

    Reason why people go with blue lies in colors psychology. Blue is relaxing and "calm" color. It doesnt scream for attention and because its not gray it doesnt look bland. Because its "neutral" color it also doesnt make software default look try to tell any emotions to users, ergo its best bet for default software.

    There is other side to this as well:

    When you pick other dominant color for your scheme, like green, you take away usual meaning of green in UX, where its used to tell user "good thing happened!". You will have to use other color but that other color will lack green's meaning/symbolics. When you take red color, which other color you will use to tell user that something went wrong?
    • Like Like x 1
  3. Jura

    Jura Devotee

    It's one of those lowest common denominator kind of colors. Blue also goes very well with many other colors unlike purple or sometimes orange.
  4. PaulKet

    PaulKet Habitué

    My wife really dislikes websites that use blue as one of their primary colors and says that it is a "lazy" way of designing a site. I agree with her but after trying numerous color combinations that never seemed to go well together, ended up using it as one of the primary colors on my site.
  5. Kamahl

    Kamahl Developer

    Same for me and my gf. I also end up using blue color
  6. Adventurer

    Adventurer Aspirant

    Blue because it is so popular gets a bit bland to me. When I setup my forum I went for a bright green as the default main colour. I left the option open for users to change to a couple of other colours, and also started a thread asking for thoughts on the green. Most thought it had a fresh new look, a couple didn't like it, and now I have removed the colour option and stuck with the green.

    I now uses the green on all the merchandise I sell, and hopefully people will associated the colour with the forum.

    I know it's not for everyone, but then again you'll never keep everyone happy.
  7. Merri

    Merri Ex-phpBB2 customizer

    I used to use blue a lot in my early sites. Since then I've kept learning colors and found out blue was just the easiest one to select out of all available for getting pleasant results. If you just move around the hue and keep saturation you'll probably get pretty "bad" looking colors. At some point I learned some mixing techniques so I could choose say three different colors that didn't work side by side so well, but after mixing them a bit I could get surprisingly pleasant results. "Vihreä Lohikäärme" in my signature is a good example of this, you can't really figure out the original colors I used - and don't ask for them, I no longer remember the actual ones either!

    One way to find good colors is to just have a look at what real graphic designers do. I don't like all their work (there is so much of it anyway), but I've spent a few moments looking at colors on sites that I've found pleasing. Sometimes colors aren't what they seem, like you can have yellowish gray color that seems more like blue if it is within certain kind of surroundings. I guess examining eye color values in photos is a good example of this.

    Kuler is also an interesting recent find I've had. Many of the highly rated have brownish thing going on for them.
  8. meetdilip

    meetdilip Tazmanian Master

    It is more of a calm and neutral colour. Most offices too prefer blue as part of dress code.
  9. lordi

    lordi Enthusiast

    oh I got it, thats why I like IPB than VB, it seems IPB use more blue than VB, ehehehehe
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2012
  10. Panupat

    Panupat Habitué

    lazy TAZ !!!
  11. Justin

    Justin Administrator

    There is a lazy blue option, and an ugly yellow.
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