Whether we mean to or not, we make snap judgements about others all the time. Websites are no different. Within a few milliseconds after visiting a website, we start judging. Most of that judgement is subconscious.
We assess the overall design, navigation capability and content style. Studies say it only takes about 50 milliseconds (0.05 seconds) for users to form a an opinion about your website — which will ultimately decide how long they stay.
So many factors determine how we develop first impressions of websites. Here are just a few of the top factors:
Spacing and symmetry
Spacing and symmetry aren’t elements that usually shoot to the top of web design priority list. These two elements, however, have the ability to make your website look user friendly or chaotic and noisy. Well spaced imagery and content communicates clarity, whereas cluttered websites can convey confusion. Similarly, symmetry can give websites a balanced look — and humans crave balance.
When considering colors for your website, it’s important to keep two factors in mind — staying on brand and readability. Stick in your brand color family, but make sure font colors are easy to read. If viewers can’t read your web content, they’ll probably move on.
The main navigation menu
The main navigation menu should be easy to find and easy to use. Keep menu items to a minimum, only including tools your users need. Most websites always include “the essential” menu items, which are “about us,” a list of services and a contact option. And remember, it’s OK to eliminate items as you find them unnecessary, or add items down the road.
Your logo should be placed somewhere prominent on your website. If your logo is buried “below the fold” (an old newspaper term meaning below the fold of the paper) then viewers could easily get confused and leave your website. If your logo includes a lot of text, consider just using your logo’s “imagery” at the top of the page as to avoid clutter.
Keep it simple and keep it short. Viewers don’t want to read long bios or clunky explanations. They want to know what you offer and how you deliver your product. Get right to the point and remember less is always more.
The bottom of the website
The bottom of your website should be where all your contact information and social media handles live. If someone’s made it to the bottom of your page, chances are they’re interested in your service and learning more. Keep this portion of your website clear and clickable. This is where all your external links and contact information should live.
If you’re still having trouble creating a clean, easy to use website, contact us today and we’ll be happy to help you out.