I am programming an Application that manages a Database. The User can add Items to the List or modify them. These Items should be colored.

The Background ios white, and the currently selected Item is Blue (Standard Windows 7 Colors). Those are "immutable". What Colors are nice for Changed and Added? At the moment I have Green and Yellow, which makes anyones Eyes bleed.

Screenshot of the relevant part of my Application

As I am a Programmer, making things look "nice" (aka Non-horrible) is not my forte...

  • 1
    I'd probably: lose the borders completely, keep blue background for selected, make new entries bold and edited entries italic or underlined. Basically I'd use font stylings instead of background colours, but that's mostly because I have no idea what the rest of your app looks like.
    – Dom
    Jul 10, 2014 at 9:13

1 Answer 1


As Mr. E. suggests, it's not quite the colours that are the problem here--it's the fact that you rendered them as borders. Rendering them as a background colour is way better, just like on the selection. It's rather impossible to recommend actual colours without knowing what the rest of your app design looks like, but there's a couple you should not use:

  • Blue: already in use. Another shade might work, but it's risky.
  • Red: suggests danger, error or removal.
  • Grey: doesn't stand out, might be overlooked.

Personally, I'd also go for a bit more of a lighter shade / tint of these colours, in order to avoid the list looking like a Christmas tree. But that's subjective, I guess.

  • 1
    There's no way we can recommended a colour without knowing what the rest of the design looks like. +1 for backgrounds over borders though.
    – Dom
    Jul 10, 2014 at 9:36

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