The Power of Your Website’s First Impression

botany-suits_newThe quote “You never get a second chance to make a first impression” has been attributed to a number of people from Will Rogers to the Botany suit company. It holds true today for your website according to a Stanford University and Consumer Web Watch in-depth study called “How Do People Evaluate A Website’s Credibility? Results from a Large Study”. A key quote from the study says:

“Visitors first evaluate a site’s overall design, including its use of multimedia. Beau Brendler, director of Consumer Web Watch noted: “While consumers say they judge on substance, these studies demonstrate that consumers judge on aesthetics, and get distracted by bells and whistles.”

The study also found that a website’s design was more important than credibility indicators such having a privacy policy, awards or certifications listed prominantly.

The folks at P-44 Technologies do a nice job summarizing the entire study, but another quote goes a long way in summing up the basic findings:

“…the visual design may be the first test of a site’s credibility. If it fails on this criterion, Web users are likely to abandon the site and seek other sources of information and services.” 

While the structure of a site and its content are very important in the long run, this study demonstrates that strong design goes a long way in establishing your credibility by making the right first impression.

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