Which car do you prefer? ………. It’s the bottom one isn’t it?
How did you justify it to yourself? Is it because it is more expensive? More modern? Or do you think the bottom one is more sexy? Regardless of your justification, you picked it because your judgemental. Scream at your monitor all you like, but it’s true. I’m judgemental, my mum’s judgemental.. we’re all judgemental. Some more than others, sure and some have slightly misguided, unfair judgement. But the fact remains we are all judgemental in some capacity.
With modern day web design companies giving you the privilege of designing your own website using their system if you pay them a monthly fee, (don’t get me started on why I hate that so much) more and more people are creating a DIY website. Some look great, but most are horrific. I have seen bright yellow backgrounds with huge green font. Broken links. Loud music playing from the website whether I like it or not plus much more. What I am sure they don’t realise, is that people all around the world are judging them in a negative manner. It’s the equivalent of trying to sell your product while wearing nothing but odd socks, a bomber jacket and bobble hat – you won’t be trusted, you may even be laughed at.
There are lot’s of excellent designers out there. You really do have a huge choice. But of course I wouldn’t be able to write this article without pulling up an example of our work. At Pushbing we pride ourselves on being extremely critical on every design element. We keep our websites spacious and clean to make sure that everyone who visits one of our sites, leaves with a good impression. For example, see one of our latest pieces of work for a local market, Helston Farmers Market. Notice how we create space by retracting anything that doesn’t have purpose, giving an overall clean finish.
A nice looking website goes deeper than just satisfying our strict judgements though. It helps your visitors focus on the content that matters rather than being distracted by ugly colors, it helps people find what they need quicker and therefore leave a longer lasting positive opinion about you – which incidentally is a massive plus point in the marketing world, but more on that in another post.
Even google prefers nice looking websites. Well, that isn’t strictly true. Google bots are not judgemental like their humanoid owners – but they do prefer cleanly designed, easy to navigate websites with great content – which all comes hand in hand with good looking sites. The opinion of Google Bots matter because of course it is them, that place our website higher in the almighty search engine.
All of this isn’t simply hearsay, Google has even performed their own study into how judgemental we actually are, specifically towards websites. Their findings are quite astonishing.
It takes on average, 50 milliseconds for internet users to form a first opinion on a website, which ultimately dictates whether they will leave or stay on your website. What’s more, is Google have also found that designs with low visual complexity were perceived as more highly appealing.
It may also surprise you to know, that British researchers analyzed how different design and information content factors influence trust of online health sites. What they uncovered is that first impressions are 94% design related. Of all the feedback these users gave regarding the websites they visited, good or bad, only 6% was content related. Poor interface design was particularly associated with instant rejection and mistrust of a website. When participants did not like an aspect of the design, the whole website was often not explored further than the homepage and was not considered suitable.
Visual appeal matters to everyone, including you, more than you would care to admit. So if you want to cut corners to save a penny, don’t consider design to be one of those corners. People form their opinion in milliseconds and within a second will decide whether to leave your site, so make sure you do what you can to make that second create a great first impression.