It takes about 50 milliseconds for users to decide whether or not to continue navigating your website or not. While this may seem like too short a time for users to actually see or read anything on a web page, this first 50 milliseconds actually have a lasting impression on users.
A Senior User Experience study revealed that users’ develop a gut feeling within the first 50 milliseconds that shapes their first impressions. The study revealed that first impressions of users were influenced by two factors of web design:
- How the website looks in relation to other websites in its category or niche
- The complexity of the design
Considering the short time in which users make judgments of your website, it is vital to strive to make a good first impression. Here’s how to do just that.
- Keep it simple
Your homepage or landing page is like a storefront. It gives the initial pitch to the user. It should therefore be quick to the point. It should give the user a quick understanding of what they can expect from the rest of the page and website.
It is therefore important to ensure that website navigation is simple. Many people quickly leave websites when they feel lost. Users appreciate websites where they can easily find the information they are looking for.
Limit the number of links to your main header navigation. This is especially important for responsive design.
- Responsive design
More people are using mobile devices to search for information online. It is therefore important to ensure that your website can be easily and comfortably accessed on varying mobile devices. Responsive websites are able to adjust to varying screens without sacrificing functionality and design. Any mobile user will appreciate a responsive website.
- Go big on Typography
Typography goes a long way in drawing the attention of users. Typography can also help you organize the content on your website. Effectively using typography to highlight heading tag, quotes and lead paragraphs can do a lot to improve your website aesthetically.
Typography can also play an important role in SEO. Search engines can pick out keywords that are related to your business and make it easier for your target audience to find you.
- Great content
This has been said time and time again. But it needs to be repeated once more. Great content is at the heart of any successful website design. Great content should be user centered. It should speak to the audience. Great content will not only attract users but will keep them coming back for more. It is therefore important to ensure that you keep updating content every so often.
- High quality images
Crisp images are a great way to grab attention. Using appropriate images such as crisp and bright photos or infographics can help give users an idea of what the content on your page is about. Images also offer the advantage of being easy to share especially with the rise of platforms such as Instagram and Pinterest. Your content can easily go viral on social networking sites if you include great images.