Grey Is Invisible

Posted By Debbie on April 6, 2011

I’m convinced that if you want something to be NOT noticed, not easily read, and not easily found on your web page, your best bet is to make it grey. Let’s start with hard to comfortably read with this screen shot from a website’s navigation:

Grey on black. Not comfy for reading.

Grey seems to be all the rage because the Apple site lives in a world of shades of grey. While every company would like to have the products and following that Apple has, I don’t suggest copying their website design. Here is a screen shot from a help file search on a site that feels like it’s copying the Apple site (click to enlarge):

We have dark grey words on a light grey background, which has a darker grey background behind it. I love the product, but want to call this UI a failure. Minimalism may be in style right now, but that’s no excuse to make something hard to read. I feel like this page is a secret, and if I can rub my decoder pen across it, maybe the words will show up. Also, to me, this site is lacking in personality and design.

It’s forgettable because it is so minimal and bland. I think the more visual people get, the more we need to design for what keeps the brain and attention with us.