🎨 Too many colors, and colors don't make sense anymore

The image below comes from a real client account. When you look at the image, what jumps at you directly?

In my case, that’s the custom field “Working on it”, and then the tag “Social Media”. And at last, you finally see the 3 tasks that are outdated. It shouldn’t! Very often, tags and custom fields should not use colors, at all. Unless they really mean something (a high priority for example). Too many colors, and colors don’t make sense anymore…

PS: I asked for the client agreement and used https://www.facepixelizer.com/ to anonymized the image if you were wondering

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Ping @Jerod_Hillard related to my comments on colors in your post

Yeah, thanks @Bastien_Siebman! I actually saw this original post and have actually already made adjustments to the template given your previous response.

I definitely agree to your points around being selective with the color scheme as it pertains to priority so appropriate information stands out.

However, I will say that there are use cases where variation in colors add value in my opinion (btw these DON’T apply around fields used to establish timing or urgency). For instance, if a Custom Field is for other internal stakeholders (Sales or PM on an account) or territories (geographic or markets) this is nice because it provides color-coded visual indications of data allowing them to “stand out” in a different way. It’s even more helpful at a glance when you are sorting or filtering data because it helps point out anomalies that could otherwise be missed if text in a column is wrapped by other results. Know what I mean?


You’re both very correct, @Bastien_Siebman and @Jerod_Hillard!

It’s critical to be thoughtful about assigning colors meaningfully (Green/Yellow/Red), using a neutral grey color appropriately, and using no background color when warranted (I like to do that when the option value is “n/a” to allow it to recede into the background of the page as much as possible).

I definitely know what you mean, @Jerod_Hillard–I have a great example where color-coding is key but the actual color choices don’t matter: This custom field shows at a glance which folks failed to update their status last week:

Asana’s custom field editor suggests different colors so you get this distribution automatically.


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That is the underling point. Beautifully stated.

Much like y’all, I have seen a ton of applications where the color-coding creates more confusion than it does offer additional value. Given the right level or thought and intent, I can allow for the use of colors in creative ways.

I think the primary point @Bastien_Siebman makes is not to use colors simply because they are available. Which I think we both wholeheartedly agree with. That said, it is good to advise new users to stay away from colors until the they are able to justify the value they bring to their use case.

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@Bastien_Siebman, thanks for sharing this:

This will come in handy… but… I still have your permission to show Bastien the Great in my examples without having to pixelate the text, right???

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The problem is that it currently requires an effort to remove the colors, as they are added by default. And the official Asana custom fields have colors embedded and you need to create a brand new field to get away…

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You have my great approval indeed.

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