How to make a brilliant first impression … the story continues!

We’re getting closer to how to make such an utterly brilliant first impression that the visitor to your web-site will stay not only for that crucial initial ten seconds, but for the crucial next twenty seconds too.

We’ve faced up to the fact that there’s no magic wand.

We’ve listed some of the characteristics.

We’ve learned that the two traits of confidence and trustworthiness account for 80 to 90 per cent of first impressions.

We’ve touched on the fact that there is now masses of data available to guide us on what brilliant website design is.

 So let’s get to it …

 In reality it’s instantaneous … 

 We’ve mentioned the ten crucial initial seconds leading to the twenty following vital seconds.  But how long have you got in reality even to achieve that ten seconds decision?  The answer, according to recent research, is an amazing 50 milliseconds.  That’s right, just 50 milliseconds!

In a study, participants were twice asked to rate the visual appeal of web sites which were displayed for only 500 milliseconds (that’s 0.05 seconds).  There was a follow-up phase, in which the exposure time was reduced to only 50 milliseconds.  The results were highly correlated, suggesting that in fact when carrying out your website design you have a fraction of a second to make that ideal first impression – such a short time, in fact, that for all intents and purposes it’s instantaneous!

To put things into perspective, the average blink of an eye takes between 100 and 400 milliseconds!

Google have carried out their own research, and have not only validated this but have ascertained that in some instances the time taken to assess the appeal of a web-site is a staggering 17 milliseconds.  Click here for a abstract of the research findings.

So what can we learn from this information?

 Two key factors emerge …

  1. Visual complexity – how complex the visual design of a website looks
  2. Prototypicality – how representative a design looks for a certain category of websites

 Click here for the Google Research Blog.

So there you have it.  As the blog indicates:

And these two factors are interrelated: if the visual complexity of a website is high, users perceive it as less beautiful, even if the design is familiar. And if the design is unfamiliar — i.e., the site has low prototypicality — users judge it as uglier, even if it’s simple.

 So what does this mean in practice for website design?

It means that above all you need to do two things:

  1.  Keep it SIMPLE …
  2. … and keep it FAMILIAR

So now, at last, we have something to go on, and we’ll be going into it in more and more detail in future articles …

… but, as we always say, if you really can’t wait, click here for our home page, here for our contact page, or call us any time on 020 7199 8713  and our team of experts will be delighted to delight you …

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