Localized heating of metals and alloys using a focused laser beam in ambient atmosphere produces dielectric oxide layers that have characteristic optical appearances including different colors. Nanoindentation probed the deformation and fracture of laser-fabricated oxides on 304L stainless steel. Conductive nanoindentation measured electrical contact resistance (ECR) of the same colored oxides indicating a correlation between laser exposure, conductance during loading, current-voltage (I-V) behavior at constant load, and indentation response. Microscopy and X-ray diffraction examined the microstructure and chemical composition of the oxides. Combining techniques provides a unique approach for correlating mechanical behavior and the resulting performance of the films in conditions that cause wear.