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Snap Judgements

People make snap judgements. It takes only 1/10th of a second to form a first impression about a person, and websites are no different.

It takes about 50 milliseconds (that’s 0.05 seconds) for users to form an opinion about your website that determines whether they like your site or not, whether they’ll stay or leave...

This number comes from specific studies. In the first study, participants twice rated the visual appeal of web homepages presented for 500 ms each. In a follow-up study they reduced the exposure time to 50 ms. Throughout, visual appeal ratings were highly correlated from one phase to the next as were the correlations between the 50 ms and 500 ms conditions.

First impressions are 94% design related

Thus, visual appeal can be assessed within 50 ms, suggesting that web designers have about 50 ms to make a good first impression. This first impression depends on many factors: structure, colours, spacing, symmetry, amount of text, fonts, and more.

Visual appeal

In this recent british analysis, 94% of test participants feedback was design related. Complex or busy layout, lack of navigation aids, boring use of colour, pop up adverts, slow introductions to site, small print, too much text, corporate look and feel & poor search facilities. All this is considered part of web design.

The study clearly showed that the look and feel of the website is the main driver of first impressions.

Only 6% of the feedback was about the actual content. Visual appeal and website navigation appeared had by far the biggest influence on people’s first impressions of the site.

Source: ConversionXL

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