Judge Website Visual Appeal in 1/20th of a Second

Website Visual Appeal

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Judging visual appeal in a hurry

The visual appeal of your website is key because internet users can judge your site in 1/20th of a second.

According to a test performed by Canadian researchers (I believe it was Carleton University in Ottawa) users were able to rank a site after seeing the site for only 1/20th of a second.

In the study, researchers discovered that people could rate the visual appeal of sites after seeing them for just one-twentieth of a second. These judgments were not random, the researchers found -- sites that were flashed up twice were given similar ratings both times. They also matched the responses given by subjects who were shown the sites for longer.

If the first impression is negative, you'll probably drive people off.

For many years web designers have claimed that you have less than 7 seconds to grab a users attention. This research would prove that people are likely to mentally rank your site within a fraction of a second after arriving at the site. The visual appeal of your site is key to keeping the user long enough to even see if your business can solve their problems. However they also found that there wasn't a common item that made a website sink or swim.

When we looked at the Web sites that we tested, there is really nothing there that tells us what leads to dislike or to like.

This further stresses the importance of truly understanding who your customer is and what they expect your site to look and feel like. If you don't understand who your customers are, you will never be able to appeal to their visual tastes.