Websites judged in milliseconds


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By Alun Williams

First impressions are often the truest, but how fast is the first judgement? Barely a twentieth of a second when it comes to viewing a webpage, according to the BBC.

A team of Canadian researchers has found that such snapshot decisions - involving rating websites in terms of their aesthetic appeal - can incorporate significant amounts of design information. The rankings gleaned from the blink of an eye, just 50 milliseconds, were found to match those from more leisurely examinations of the same sites over a much longer period of time. The researchers attribute this to a 'halo effect'. In other words, a positive initial impression of the design leads people to view the content more positively. And vice versa.

'Unless the first impression is favourable, visitors will be out of your site before they even know that you might be offering more than your competitors,' Gitte Lindgaard, the lead researcher from the team at Carleton University in Ottawa, is quoted by the BBC as saying.


The results of the study were published in the Behaviour & Information Technology journal.

Article submitted by: Webshark
Last Update: 01-17-2006
Category: Off Topic Info

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