An example of color dithering
The following example illustrates the negative effects that dithering can have on a browser display. The first image is rendered in 16 million colors and the second is how this same graphic would appear on a screen that is limited to 216-colors. As you can see dithering can have a profound effect on the appearance of graphic elements when the safety palette is ignored.
Example of color dithering
Staying within the safety palette range
How important is it to stay within the safety palette range? It depends on how wide a target audience you want to reach. As more and more users upgrade to newer systems, this may become less of a problem.
However, keep in mind that not everyone with 32-bit color capability chooses that monitor option. So, the decision is yours. If you feel the majority of your website visitors will have high-end systems with full color capability, then, by all means, use a larger color palette.
The emotional effects of color in website design
The colors you use can elicit different emotions. The emotions that can be evoked by common web safe colors are as follows;
Red and Orange - These colors denote power and energy. They are best used for drawing the attention of your visitors and/or eliciting a response from them, such as a call to action.
Yellow - This color can be stimulating and promote a sense of fun. Used wisely this web safe color can add vibrancy to an otherwise drab presentation.
Green - A color that has a calming effect. Use this color whenever you wish to convey a sense of peace and tranquility in your presentations.
White - This color is neutral but it is very important. It is the background color of most websites and acts as a canvas for your text and graphics.
Black - A serious color that gives the feeling that you mean what you are saying. Text and graphic elements in this color provide a sense of stability and trust.