Thin films were prepared by depositing alternating layers of tungstate anion (WO4
2-) and poly(4-vinylpyridine-co-styrene) (PVP-S) onto an electrode from aqueous solutions. These films have very high contrast (CR > 8) relative to equivalent films prepared using poly(ethylene dioxythiophene) (PEDOT), but suffer from slow color change due to poor electrical conductivity. The switching time of the tungstate-based films was decreased by an order of magnitude, from 30 seconds down to three, by adding layers of indium tin oxide (ITO) particles stabilized with poly(diallyldimethylammonium chloride) (PDDA). In this case, a four-layer repeating structure was created (i.e., PVP-S and PDDA-ITO were each deposited every fourth layer). Unlike tungstate, ITO has a high intrinsic conductivity (∼ 104 S/cm) that accounts for the dramatic increase in the switching speed. It is only through the nanometer-scale control of film architecture, provided with the layer-by-layer (LbL) deposition process, that switching speed and contrast ratio can be optimized simultaneously.