Nail First Impressions with Visual Design
According to recent eye-tracking research at Missouri University of Science and Technology, it takes users less than two-tenths of a second to form a first impression about a website.
You might not think the digital aspects of your company are crucial to the success of your business, but in many cases, your website is how customers ‘meet’ you. You can’t say hello, shake their hand, or ask them how you can help, so it’s up to your website to make a great first impression.
It can be pretty daunting to think that users will make a judgement call about your business based on what they see online. The reality is, your website offers a preview of what it will be like to engage with you. If your site is easy to navigate, concise, and informative, it suggests that you believe in clear communication and know what your customers want. Confusing navigation, broken links, outdated design, and blog articles from 2007 potentially show audiences that you’re unorganised and struggle to keep up in a busy marketplace.
This might not be the case, and it could seem like viewers are jumping to conclusions, but they’re likely not consciously thinking all these things — it’s just what a first impressions tells them.
Hey, good lookin’
A strong visual impact is crucial in nailing a positive first impression, but it’s about more than just looking good. With strategic design, you can communicate your services, build credibility, gain trust, promote yourself as an expert in your industry, and tell users who you are.
Be picky with the photos you use — only upload high-quality images, and make sure any infographics are neat and clear. Use a colour scheme that compliments your logo, and stick to around three colours so your site doesn’t look busy.
Easy does it
Functionality also plays a huge role. How frustrating is it when you can’t find what you’re looking for? A user-friendly experience is a must. Most of the time, visitors know what they’re looking for, so your navigation needs to be structured in a clear, logical way that makes locating relevant information easy.
Send the right message
Copy is perhaps the most difficult thing to get right. It can’t be too wordy, too vague, or too lyrical, and having too much is just as bad as not having enough. Let’s not even get started on the damage poor spelling, grammar, or syntax can do!
Every sentence needs to add value to your site and connect with the person reading it; it has to be fresh, relevant, and up-to-date. Once you’ve got the content down pat, use design elements to enhance it. Bold headings, eye-catching fonts, and a creative use of space makes your message stand out.