Yes, we know that in many cultures red means stop. In those cases when we drive a car or want to cross a street. Yet when we look at the pictures of dishes, red means spicy (especially in Asia). Red also means joy, love, speed, Christmas, communism and many other things. In STEP Journal, red now stands for Events (parties, art & performance, fashion & beauty).
We say “now” as we’ve recently moved from 17 colours for activity categories to just 8 as our user research finding was – too many colours confuse people. Furthermore, we’ve learned that cobalt blue, for example, is mostly associated with Travel (blue sky, ocean) and Sports (especially outdoors) rather than professional activities as we’ve thought before. An equally interesting finding was that some people prefer to see Work related activities in orange or yellow motivating it by “I love / enjoy my work” while others see work as grey reasoning that “work is something I need to do for living, but if I had a choice, I would not work”. We’ve finally decided to go dark blue. Safe. Brownish, though, was found to be a perfect fit for Liquor & Tobacco representing “cigars, whiskey and sofa’s in gentlemen clubs” as one user insightfully noted. Why do we need the latter as a special category you may ask? Because many are trying to get rid of naughty habits and if alcohol was orange, that’s too positive, don’t you think? 🙂
The simplified colour scheme has been already applied to STEP Journal app. Check your app timeline – is your life colourful enough or you are missing out on some? It’s never too late!