Red does not always mean love in UX

Colors have been attractive to me as a designer ever since. I use them freely and abundantly. However, digital interactive design has changed the way we use color as attributes. Here’s why.

Eva Schicker
6 min readMay 26, 2020


Designing with Red: 1st in a series on color in UI/UX

The deeper meaning of color

In UI design, certain colors, such as red or green, can mean a multitude of actions. For a user however, colors can mean many different moods, evoking positive or negative reactions.

The use of color in UI design depicts the intent of the maker, the product or that of a service. For instance, a commuter sees an iconic red circle. This signifies something of high importance. At the blink of an eye, the user is reminded to act, because he has found what he is looking for, in this instance, the metro station.

Let’s take a look!

Animation of red symbols merging emotional signage, action items, and sensory icons. ©Eva Schicker 2020.

This simple animation reveals different uses of red. Their meanings change instantaneously. An icon morphs into a sign, an accent color, becomes a universal reference.

Different interpretations happen:

Love a feeling

STOPan action

The White Cross on Red Backgrounda nation’s flag, and also health and wellness

An IconThe London subway

An Accent ColorA graphic use of a color to identify a shape

In each instance of adding red to a design, we need to isolate it to signify only the intended meaning, whether designing for an action button, a flat visual, or representing a mood. The right use of color will help customers understand how to interpret the message.



Eva Schicker

Hello. I write about UX, UI, AI, animation, tech, art & design through the eyes of a designer. UX lead Lelantos Press, NYC UX GA grad. Top writer 5x.