Business owners have less than three seconds to make a first impression on their website visitors.
Less than three seconds is exactly how long it takes for the most captivating elements of a website to hit home, according to a recently released study conducted by Missouri University of Science and Technology.
Researchers used eye-tracking software to determine how website designs influence users.
Really, the study’s findings are nothing new or Earth-shattering. It has been widely accepted that a user’s first impression of a website will determine that user’s opinion of the business it represents.
Researchers monitored the eye movements of study participants as they scanned Web pages. Next, researchers analyzed the data to determine how long each individual focused on specific sections of a particular page, including the website menu, company logo, images and social media icons.
For the purpose of the study, researchers used law school websites to measure what elements drew the most interest from participants. The results are as follows:
• Logos. The study found that participants spent approximately 6.48 seconds focused on this area before moving on.
• Main navigation menus. Participants spent an average of 6.44 seconds viewing a website’s main navigation menu.
• Search boxes. Participants focused there attention on website search boxes for just over 6 seconds.
• Social networking links. Links to sites like Facebook and Twitter garnered just shy of 6 seconds from participants.
• Dominant website images. A website’s main image was fixated upon by participants for an average of 5.94 seconds.
• Written content. Participants seemed to spend just 5.59 seconds focused on a website’s written content.
What does this mean for website owners? Particular attention should be paid to a website’s overall navigation and design for maximum results. A poorly designed website or logo and a difficult navigational structure will surly send visitors off to another website.
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