First Impression Counts in Website Design – Is it true?

The first impression of a web page on a web user can be formed in a very, very brief moment. Researchers have proved that a web user forms the first impression of a web page in as little as 50 milliseconds. A web surfer can make judgments about a web site’s visual attractiveness within the blink of an eye. Going by the rule of “halo effect”, where a person’s perception about one trait can lead to similar perceptions about another, and as they say, “first impression is the last impression” the first impression founded of a website can lead to subsequent judgments about the authenticity, usability, credibility which in turn affect his purchasing decisions. A better first impression can be made by creating a lightweight, fast-loading and visually appealing website. This first impression can then hold your potential customer’s interest.

The Halo Effect

Halo effect refers to the generic assumption of a particular trait based on another trait. For example, a good-looking person may be considered intelligent and successful in life. Cognitive thoughts lead to the speed at which visitors of a website can form value judgments about a website. The precognitive reaction is a physiological reaction caused by what is visible on the screen. Thus, carrying this first impression forward to conclude about other traits of a product is known as the Halo Effect. Users ignore evidence and give more importance to their initial feelings.

Emotion and Cognition

Halo Effect proves the definite relationship between our emotional reaction to a website and our conscious thought process. Purchase decisions involve not only cognitive judgments but also emotional judgments even for a rational consumer.

Photographs verses Sketches

Photographs are known to have much worse recognizing as compared to sketches. The web designers have to decide whether to photographs or sketches as to have the users a better first impression of the website. The vote goes in favor of sketches for they are easily identifiable.

A professional web design company should use relaxing visuals, awesome graphics, easy navigation options and proficient logos to have business organization hold an edge over their competitions by increasing onsite conversion rates.

What’s next?

The article enlightens us with facts that users can make conclusions about your website in as little as 50 milliseconds. This judgment is essential because it determines the user’s next steps as explained by the halo effect.This emotional judgment can lead to subsequent judgments. If a user get a poor first impression of your website, he is very likely to disapprove it even if you offer better products, services or usability. You only get one opportunity to make a good first impression and you have to make the most of it because a poor first impression can steer customer away from your organization. A website should be clean, fuss-free, fast loading, crash free and should have a professional look to create that good first impression because halo effects can lead to generic assumptions.