The Usability Post
Thoughts on design and user experience
by Dmitry Fadeyev

Reinventing the Color Picker

June 2009

If you do any form of design work on the computer you’re probably familiar with the color picker. Whether in the form of a color wheel or a set of sliders, color pickers let you do just that – pick colors.

ColoRotate is an interesting new site that picks a novel approach to the traditional color picker design. Instead of 2D circles or sliders, ColoRotate features a 3D cone. At the core of the cone is the spectrum of colors. Intersecting that is the tint which lies on the z-axis. You can manipulate each one separately to help you arrive at your color. You can also blend two colors together.

Once you’ve picked a few colors for your palette, you can use extra controls to modify the whole palette at once, like making it warmer or moving it towards a certain hue. Other tools let you do things like get the main colors from an image, look at your color palette through reduced visions sets like red-green deficiencies and export and share your palettes. Additionally the site has plenty of information about color and color theory.

If you’re looking for a fresh new tool to help you generate color palettes, ColoRotate is worth checking out.