Measuring users’ color preferences in CRUD operations across the globe: a new Software Ergonomics Testing Platform


While working with data, we typically utilize four basic operations: Create, Read, Update, and Delete. These functions, used altogether with a persistent storage, are encapsulated into the acronym CRUD. Although the data functions are easy for machines, people have to use them through a user interface and its components. Even though some of these components are standardized (for example, HTML forms), their visual representation is highly customized among devices and technologies. Concerning users, subjective preferences are taken into account as well. As a result, the efficiency of working with data can be affected by choosing appropriate components and their attributes, such as colors. Choosing the right colors, we can work with data faster and more effectively, utilizing users’ expectations, understanding, and perception. We developed a publicly accessible Software Ergonomics Testing Platform. Through running experiments worldwide, we found out that users have a prior expectation about colors used for CRUD operations. Results show that there is a strong consensus on the color preference for the delete operation with color red being voted by 64 % users worldwide. On the other hand, color preferences for update operation strongly differ among continents. The impact of temporary weather conditions to color preference seems to be negligible.

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Fig. 1

Author: Blanc (1876) (color figure online)

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Author: Salvino Fillho. Licenced under CC BY-SA 4.0 (color figure online)

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    It is supposed that Isaac Newton (Newton 1704, p. 2, Figure 11) published the very first color wheel, together with C.B. (Boutet 1708, author is unknown but is supposed to be Claude Boutet, or a publisher Christoph Ballard).

  2. 2.

    Commonly used additive color model, created by IBM for PC area. It is used to define a color by specifying a portion of Red, Green, and Blue on a scale, typically from 0 to 255.


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This paper presented ongoing results from the Software Ergonomics Research and one of its domains, Colors. The research has been founded at the Department of Information and Knowledge Engineering at the University of Economics, Prague, and supported by the Grant IGA 33/2018. The authors would like to thank Tomáš Kliegr and Vojtěch Svátek for their feedback when writing the manuscript.

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Correspondence to Petra Tomanová.

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Tomanová, P., Hradil, J. & Sklenák, V. Measuring users’ color preferences in CRUD operations across the globe: a new Software Ergonomics Testing Platform. Cogn Tech Work 22, 223–233 (2020).

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  • Software ergonomics
  • Web application
  • Design
  • User interface
  • Graphical user interface
  • Color
  • CRUD