As more and more potential customer’s first introductions to your company come simply by visiting your website, the more important the look and feel of your website can be to make or break that all important first impression. After all, your company website says a lot about you and can create a lasting impression on users. If you think that any old website will do for your business, you might want to think again!
While there are more online users today than ever before and the look of a website is more important than ever before for creating a favorable brand impression, this isn’t really something new. A study done by Stanford University’s Web Credibility Project back in 2002 found that users tended to assess a website’s credibility through the superficial aspects of the site. According to the study, credibility was often determined based on the overall design of the site, the layout, typography, fonts and colors. A website’s ‘look’ mattered greatly to users when assessing credibility and 46.1% of people said that a website’s design was the number one item for determining the credibility of the company.
The Stanford study found that, even back when the internet was in it’s ‘toddler’ years, the quality of a website’s design was important to users and contributed highly to the impression that users formed about not only the website, but also the company behind it. Skip forward to the online world today and the level of professionalism in a website’s design and layout is just as, if not more, important than ever before.
What does the look and feel of your website say about you?
It’s important to continually analyze your business website to ensure that you are not only creating a positive and professional visual impression on your customers and potential customers, but also to ensure that you are displaying critical visual information in a way that enhances user experience. After all, just as the internet itself has evolved over the years, so have users.
Website Users Still Determine Credibility Based on Visual Impressions
A recent study by the Missouri University of Science and Technology found that it takes less than two-tenths of a second for a user to form an opinion about your brand when looking at your website. The study also found that it takes about 2.6 seconds for a user’s eyes to land on a part of a web page that most influences their first impression – the logo, navigational menu, search box, social networking links, the main image of the page, the written content, and the footer.
First Impressions Count
When was the last time your really looked at your website? If you haven’t analyzed your website recently, this is a great time to do so. Write down some ideas about what you would like your website to accomplish for your company and what you would like users to do or gain by visiting your site. Be sure to critically analyze the design and layout, and also the visual imagery used throughout your website. Remember that your website can make or break the first impression of your company and brand for potential customers. If your business website isn’t making a great first impression, it may be time for a re-design!