94% of first impressions are based on the user’s perception of the website design1

What do you notice when you visit a website for the first time? Do you pay attention to the design, the colour scheme, or the layout? Do you just start reading the content?

First impressions are important, and your website is no exception. You only have one opportunity to make a good first impression. The first few seconds of a person’s visit to your website can determine whether they form a favourable impression of your business. In fact, a study has shown that it takes users only two-tenths of a second to form an opinion about a website.2

This eye-tracking study also showed that it took users about 2.6 seconds to scan a website before focusing on any particular section. The research found that when viewing a site users were most interested in the following sections of the page…

Users spent the most time on this part of the website before moving on. Placement is key, users are 89% more likely to remember your brand if the logo is displayed in the top-left corner of your website rather than the top right.3 Because it is usually the first point of recognition for potential customers, a well-designed logo is an important part of any business’s brand awareness.

Footwear4you – quality footwear website

Primary navigation menu

Subjects spent almost as long viewing the menu as they did looking at the logo. Your website’s navigation design has a great impact on usability. Visitors are more likely to engage when they have simple options that allow them to easily locate what they are looking for. With this in mind, make your navigation links descriptive and keep the number of menu items to a minimum. To accomplish this, you may need to group links; if so, consider dividing these lists into smaller groupings. This prevents long lists from appearing in the drop-down menu.

Southcombe Gloves – luxury fashion and technical gloves website

JR Leisure – outdoor leisure specialists website

Users expect to find the search bar at the top of the page, don’t make them, well, search for it. When they arrive on your site looking for a specific product or service they may prefer to use the search function rather than the navigation menus. Because mobile devices have a smaller screen size, it’s more acceptable to hide the search bar and use an icon to reveal the search field.

Hero or primary image

The main, or ‘hero’, image on your website draws the user’s attention and helps establish the first impression. This image, or video, must help highlight your products or services. These images should be of good quality, quick loading, and where appropriate have a call-to-action included.

Somerset Workwear – service and industry workwear website

Visitors should be familiar with your content or services by the time they reach the footer. This section allows you to provide further information such as your address or phone number. Including additional links to pages that are more information-based than those in the main navigation can also be useful here, such as Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy. It can also be used to display a subscription or contact form. If your firm has business accreditations or awards, they can also be shown here.

Somerset Solders – soldering and PCB assembly products website

Don’t forget your site’s written content

A good website requires engaging digital copy that is optimised for search engines. This will not only help your website rank well for relevant keywords and phrases on search engines but will also provide the user with useful information. By following this strategy, you are more likely to convert rather than have users abandon your website.

Jasmine Silk – finest quality silk website

Don’t delay, design matters

You may have less than a second to make the first impression of your website a positive one. Focus on making your website visually appealing with engaging content. We have years of experience working with businesses to design and build affordable websites. Tell us about your next project and let’s talk about how we can help you.

1. Trust & Mistrust of Online Health Sites Study. 2. Missouri S&T University. 3. Research by Nielsen Norman Group