by Tamara S.
“You’ve got 2.6 seconds to make that important first impression on your website visitors.”
This was just fascinating to me (and it went so well with my last two posts that I had to write about it). I highly recommend reading this article! It’s by the “BusinessNewsDaily Staff” on Business News Daily. If all you want are the basic takeaways of the article, though, here’s a brief summary.
Basically, there was this study done where students at a college were shown law school websites. An infrared camera tracked their eyes to see what elements of the websites they looked at, and how long they looked at those elements. The sections that had the most attention were the following (and I’m just going to quote them, because this was really cool):
- “The institution’s logo. Users spent about 6.48 seconds focused on this area before moving on.”
- “The main navigation menu. It was almost as popular as the website logo – subjects spent an average of 6.44 seconds viewing the menu.”
- “The search box, where users focused for just over 6 seconds.”
- “Social networking links to sites such as Facebook and Twitter. Users spent about 5.95 seconds viewing these areas.”
- “The site’s main image, where users’ eyes were fixated for an average of 5.94 seconds.”
- “The site’s written content, where users spent about 5.59 seconds.”
- “The bottom of a website, where users spent about 5.25 seconds.”
Pretty cool, right? So, that’s why I can be so particular about having a plan for a website design or redesign – we have so little time to get the visitor’s initial attention! If the site isn’t immediately showing the mark of a professional, the visitor is going to leave – quickly.
Now, I don’t think the pattern set above will be the same for every website, for every user, for every industry, etc. Obviously, no one design or layout will appease to every single consumer out there – different people have different tastes. However, I think this proves just how little time we have to make an impression on website, and how critical it is to plan out the purpose and design of your website long before you put it online.