In a world where consumers are constantly bombarded with advertising, it can be difficult to stand out from the crowd.
According to Ryan Holmes, Founder of Hootsuite, back in the ‘70s, the average consumer in the U.S. saw around 500 ads per day. That number has since increased by a factor of 10 to upward of 5,000 ads per day.
Furthermore, research reveals that the “typical” global internet user now spends almost 7 hours per day using the internet across all devices.
According to Simon Kemp, from DataReportal, for context, if we assume that the average person spends roughly 7 to 8 hours per day sleeping, the typical internet user now spends more than 40 percent of their waking life online.
The amount of time we spend online continues to climb, too, with the daily average increasing by 4 minutes per day (+1.0 percent) over the past year.
That may not sound like a big increase but added up across all of the world’s internet users, those 4 extra minutes per day should equate to more than 5 billion additional days of internet use in 2022.
In total, the latest numbers suggest that the world should spend more than 12½ trillion hours online in 2022 alone. (Source)
Given this reality, if you’re a business owner with an online presence, it begs the question, how do you capture the attention of your customers?
The answer? Strong design.
Let’s take a closer look at how design can help you create a bond between your brand and its consumers. First, we need to examine human behavior to understand what matters most, starting with how people interact with websites.
According to eye-tracking research conducted at the Missouri University of Science and Technology, viewing a website takes users less than two-tenths of a second to form a first impression.
But it takes a little longer – about 2.6 seconds – for a user’s eyes to land on that area of a website that most influences their first impression.
“We know first impressions are very important,” says Dr. Hong Sheng, assistant professor of business and information technology at Missouri S&T. “As more people use the Internet to search for information, a user’s first impressions of a website can determine whether that user forms a favorable or unfavorable view of that organization.”
During this eye-tracking study, researchers from Missouri University monitored students’ eye movements as they scanned web pages.
The researchers then analyzed the eye-tracking data to determine how long it took for the students to focus on specific sections of a page—such as a menu, logo, images, and social media icons—before they moved on to another section.
They discovered that the better the first impression, the longer the participants stayed on the page.
The six website sections that drew the most interest from viewers were:
- The institution’s logo. Users spent 6.48 seconds focused on this area before moving on.
- The main navigation menu. Almost as popular as the logo, subjects spent an average of 6.44 seconds viewing the menu.
- The search box. Users focused for just over 6 seconds.
- The site’s main image. Users’ eyes were fixated for an average of 5.94 seconds.
- The site’s written content. Users spent about 5.59 seconds.
- The bottom of a website. Users spent about 5.25 seconds.
Key takeaway: A good first impression leads to a longer visit. Make sure the six elements listed here look great. (Source)
In another study, British researchers analyzed how different health website designs and web content influenced the trust and mistrust of the women viewing the sites. The study revealed that the look and feel of the website were the main drivers of first impressions.
Of all the feedback the test participants gave, 94% was about design:
- Busy layout;
- Lack of navigation aids;
- Boring web design;
- Use of color;
- Pop-up adverts;
- Slow introductions to the site;
- Small print;
- Too much text;
- Corporate look and feel;
- Poor search capabilities.
At the same time, the poor interface design was associated with rapid rejection and mistrust of a website. When participants did not like an aspect of the design, the whole website was rarely explored beyond the homepage. (Source)
The digital landscape is constantly evolving, and websites must continually adapt to stay relevant. In this ever-changing landscape, one thing remains constant: the importance of design.
Your website’s design is the first thing your audience will notice; it will either engage them or turn them away. A well-designed website will grab visitors’ attention and hold it, while a poorly designed one will cause visitors to wander away in frustration.
Design isn’t just about how your website looks; it’s also about how easy it is to use. A good design makes it easy for visitors to find the information they’re looking for, while a bad design can leave them feeling lost and confused. Good website design is just good business in today’s digital landscape, where everyone is competing for attention.
Contact us today if you are ready to invest in your company’s website design.