Captivate & Convert: The Power of First Impressions in Website Design

By Elliot Olson

By Elliot Olson

Founder & Digital Strategist

While teaching a recent workshop, I shared that visitors form an opinion of your website in just .05 seconds…

…aka barely the time it takes you to blink.

In other words, you have only a fraction of a second to make a first impression. That first impression is over 90% design-related (I’ll expand on this in a sec). And it’s hugely important to whether people have an overall good experience with your business.

Good first impressions are positive primers.

Primers do exactly what the name implies — they prime people to like (or dislike) certain experiences.

In this case, first impressions prime your customers. Good web design gives people a positive first impression. It primes people to think positively of your business and want to interact with you even more.

In contrast, a poorly designed website means negative priming. Visitors with a bad first impression are less inclined to spend time interacting with your business. They may even seek out another business with a more professional online presence.

Now, I know what you’re thinking…

I get it, Elliot. Good impressions matter! So how do you design websites to make good first impressions?

Glad you asked. 😉

Let’s go back to your first impression. Remember when I mentioned design? Turns out that first impressions are 94% design related. In other words, your website’s aesthetics are proven ways to create good first impressions.

So what makes “good design?”

Design is subjective, but there are some general elements that contribute to good design.

“Good” design elements include:

  • Dispersed elements with empty space
  • Clean graphics
  • Concise text
  • Consistent fonts
  • Coordinated colors
  • Uncluttered layouts

Meanwhile, bad design features the opposite:

  • Blurry graphics
  • Cheesy stock photos
  • Mismatched fonts
  • Jumble of clashing colors
  • Heapsoftextwithoutanygraphicsorinterestingvisualelementstobreakuplayoutsandcreatenaturalflowofcontentforvisitors

Your gut can usually tell good from bad design, even without training. Here are some results from Googling “good website design”:

| studio anansi

Versus “bad website design”:

| studio anansi

If I put those examples in front of you, I bet you could pick which ones are the better designs.

So does emphasizing your presence mean that your content doesn’t matter?

Of course not!

First impressions are exactly that — first impressions.

You still need to deliver a satisfying product or service.

But investing in outstanding first impressions (aka elevating your user experience) means priming your audience for future satisfaction.

It improves your customers’ satisfaction, makes your job easier, and helps you run your business that much more.

Get the inside scoop.

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