Part Two: First Impressions
When planning a new web site or analyzing your existing site, start with your home page. This is the online “face” of your company. The home page should provide an overview of what you do or offer, while beginning to establish trust with your new and repeat visitor. The content you choose to highlight on your home page will be critical to attracting a potential customer and encouraging them to explore the rest of your site.
1/20TH OF A SECOND: THE SPEED WHICH PEOPLE MAKE DECISIONS ABOUT AN IMAGE.
In this short time, most of the impression formed is a physiological and emotional response – and precludes cognitive thinking. In other words, in the “blink of an eye” your visitors have made judgments about the visual appeal of your site and their first impression will influence their buying decisions.
Customers use both emotional and cognitive thinking when making decisions about purchases. A negative first impression, even when the rest of the site is highly usable and informative, is hard to overcome. Evoke a good feeling initially and it will carry through in their buying decisions in a positive way.
Your home page is the entry point to your web site. How can you be sure to make the best first impression on your home page?
DOES YOUR HOME PAGE DO THE FOLLOWING?
- Does it represent my brand?
- Is it getting a high number of visits?
- Is it likely to get bookmarked, saved or shared?
- Does it set a good tone for the rest of the site?
- Is my home page an effective gateway to the rest of my site?
EVERY ELEMENT ON YOUR HOME PAGE SHOULD HAVE A PURPOSE. EVERY ELEMENT SHOULD BE QUESTIONED:
• What does it do?
• How will it be used?
• How does it help the site’s purpose?