The First Glance Gives a Fighting Chance

Have you ever been on a website, and scratched your head in confusion?

One of the first questions I address when evaluating a website for a usability review is this:
View the website for 5-15 sec. Can you tell what the website is about?

If the answer to that question is no, there is a big problem. The 5-15 sec. glance test is all about first impressions. If a person cannot figure out what you do based on a glance of your website, then your website is not doing its job. The purpose of your website is to sell your brand, and build a positive brand image. You need to have a goal of a path you want the visitor’s eyes to follow when on your website. When this is properly addressed, then the results of the 5-15 sec. glance test will be improved.

In usability, chaos is not your friend. As touched on above, you want to have a clear purpose for your homepage, and you want to be organized. Three columns of information in a high eye-traffic area will confuse website visitors in key places on your website. To properly ace the 5-15 sec. glance test, you need to first have a well-designed logo (typically found in the upper left hand corner). This will be the first thing a website visitor sees. Second, it would help if you have a mission statement or motto near the brand logo. This will typically be the second thing a website visitor will see. Third, you need a high-quality image place in the center or center-right on your homepage. This image needs to define what you do. If it has a person in the image, the person needs to look friendly, and be smiling. Fourth, a great addition would be to have selling points to the left of this image. List the best reasons why the website visitor should go with your brand over the competition. These points will most likely be read third, in conjunction with viewing the picture that defines your brand. Next, a scrolling testimonial box is great to have on the homepage. Have testimonials scroll slowly, so they can be read without rushing the user. All of these elements are key features that can be seen within the first 15 seconds of viewing your website.

Since it is important for all of your text to be read quickly and efficiently – use a readable font. Do not use an experimental or sloppy font on your website. This is a big “turn off” to website visitors, because it will give them the impression that you simply don’t care. Choosing such a font is a dangerous move, because the website is for selling your brand. Picking a sloppy font says that it is all about you, instead of being about the website visitor and will impair the premium value of your website. So make sure your font is readable and can quickly move the reader through your website to properly pass the 5-15 sec. glance test.

Website organization and font readability are two important elements needed to properly pass the 5-15 sec. glance test in website usability. If you get these two things in order, you are on the right track to keeping a visitor on your website. Then show the website visitor that offer the best of the best, so you will thrive with success.

(Image Source: http://www.spotshoppingguide.com)

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