“Don’t judge a book (or a website) by its cover” is a phrase that didn’t age well.
A study found that the human attention span has plummeted from 12 to 8 seconds between 2000 and 2015. This means that you’ll have to be quick to catch the user’s interest and make a good impression.
And where is the best place to start doing that?
Well, it’s your website’s design.
Our friends from a New York web design company say that web design is key in building credibility with your users. However, they also stress that we should think about web design holistically, from user experience to content and interface design, for optimal results.
Effective website design contributes to all stages of the conversion funnel, from improving brand retention, building interest and, more importantly, building the trust users need to convert.
But what is the relationship between web design and first impressions, exactly?
- The Correlation Between Websites and First Impressions
Google conducted a study revealing that users form opinions based on design in 17 milliseconds. Also, websites with low visual complexity were recognized as highly attractive.
Users focus on the website area that will spark their interest. That area will greatly help create a good first impression.
In general, users typically focus on these sections of a page:
- Hero image
- Navigation menu
- Search box
- Written content
- Bottom of the page
Users would stay longer on your page if they have a good first impression of your website.
We will show you why first impressions matter in the world of web design and share research-based reasons to invest in website design.
But first, let’s take a better look at what web design is, how it is different from web development and what a thoughtful web design should include.
- What Is Web Design?
Web design refers to the process of presenting a brand or businesses’ content online, through a website.
- Not To Be Mistaken With Web Development
What’s the difference between web design and web development?
A web designer creates the website’s visual appearance, while a web developer is a person who will do the coding.
Some companies have web designers and developers who handle both responsibilities. That’s why web designers need experience with programming languages when building a career in the industry.
- Thoughtful Web Design
Achieving a strategically designed website requires a lot of thought.
Consider the following:
- Color schemes
- 6 Reasons Why Your Web Design Should Make a Good First Impression
- #1: Because a positive first impression can last
An experiment was carried out to examine the effects of product expectations on subjective usability ratings.
Those who have read positive product reviews before interacting with the product were more likely to have a positive experience regardless of potential mishaps. In contrast, those who read negative or no reviews tend to be more critical.
The same scenario goes for web design.
An engaging web design can carry over to a positive brand experience. This means that users will be more satisfied with your brand’s products and services and will most likely have that positive attitude over time, even when slip-ups happen.
- #2: Customers will leave your website if they don’t like the design
A study conducted by the ACM Digital Library revealed that 94% of first impressions about your website are design-related. The results were interesting and showed that the website’s overall look was the prime motivator.
In addition, design plays a significant role in trusting a website. This means that your web design is one of the key factors in keeping or losing your customers’ interest.
- #3: Customers care more about the interface design than usability
A study conducted by ResearchGate compared the impact of a website’s visual appeal vs. usability on users.
It found that interface design, or “visual appeal,” pulled more weight in users’ first impression than usability.
However, unlike users who are just exploring a site, visitors looking for specific information are more impacted by the site’s usability.
This suggests that:
- Your UX design is for the mid-to-bottom-of-the-funnel users to be engaged
- Your website’s interface is to engage top-of-the-funnel users
- #4: Effective web design can lead to better rankings in search
Your SEO ranking is highly dependent on your users’ satisfaction.
Google prefers user-friendly websites because they’re easy to navigate both by the users and the search engines. Google picks up these signals so that it can constantly optimize the algorithm to rank the best results.
Ultimately, bad web design leads to unhappy users. Unhappy users will more likely go back to the Search Engine Results Page (SERP) to find other websites. This will then demote your website’s ranking.
So, your web design should be engaging enough to rank better in SERPs, making prospective customers willing to click over to your website and convert.
- #5: A strategic web design improves loading speed
According to a recent study, it only takes 2.5 seconds for the average person to lose their patience if kept waiting, and 39% will lose interest if the images won’t load or take too long to appear.
So, if your page loads for longer than that, you’re giving your first-time user a one-way ticket to visit your competitor’s website.
And you wouldn’t want that to happen.
You need to make your visitors happy and their experience enjoyable, so they can return to your website, which will then lead to higher conversions.
A strategic design focuses on measuring and optimizing the loading speed of your website. There are numerous ways on how to help speed up your website’s loading page, but here are some:
- Optimize your images
- Choose the design elements wisely
- Use necessary plugins only
- Pack your content
- Update the scripts
In conclusion, a strategic website design can improve your website’s loading speed, leading to a great user experience, higher user retention and engagement.
- #6: So you can be ahead of the competition
88% of users are most likely to forget your website after a poor user experience.
So, where do they head next?
To your competitor.
For potential customers to come back, keep in mind that a well-designed website puts you in a better light.
- Final Thoughts on Why Web Design Matters
Your web design matters, and it is essential to invest in it if you want to see reports of a better brand experience, improved ranking in SERPs, higher traffic and engagement rates.
For a quick overview, here are six reasons why web design must make a good first impression:
- Web design is an excellent start if you want to make a good lasting impression
- Web design helps maintain high user retention
- Web design’s visual appeal weighs in more than usability
- Web design improves rankings in search and gains more organic traffic
- Web design boosts the loading speed
- Web design places your brand ahead of the competition
Have we missed any? Let us know some of your main reasons for investing in web design.