First impressions do indeed matter

Most usability experts claim that website visitors have made up their minds after only five to seven seconds as to whether they will remain on the site.



The key for web content producers is to avoid a high bounce rate. That’s the term used in web analytics for the percentage of users who visit a website and exit (or bounce), rather than remaining and continue browsing.


I could write a dissertation on this subject but then I’d be making the same mistake that’s been done over and over again. The inconvenient truth is that a vast majority of people want quick and easy information. They don’t want to read lengthy and verbose texts. Smartphone and tablets are quickly replacing desktop computer usage, which further emphasizes the need to be short and concise.


When we visit a hotel website we are looking to book a room and find the best price. We login to our bank account to pay invoices. Prospective students visit a university website first and foremost to search for courses and programmes, not to read press releases.


If we forget to consider the needs of our target audiences, then we are wasting an incredible amount of time and energy by throwing “everything but the kitchen sink” to the visitor. An information overload of banners, photos, lengthy texts, and links to news articles is a nice recipe for a high bounce rate.


The essence is to put yourselves in the shoes of the target audience. Why are they visiting your webpage and what are most important things they are looking for? Try and produce cleanly organized pages with concise and easy to find content. I highly recommend a visit to to learn more about first impressions. I just submitted our English homepage for feedback.


We need to remember the old adage of “less is more.” I know it’s challenging as this blog post is twice as long as it should be. Our visitors will greatly appreciate that we value their time and are considering their needs. And they will remain and keep coming back for more.


Consider the success of Google. Their homepage says it all. They had me at hello.


Disclaimer: I did not receive any compensation from Google, Inc. for the shameless promotion.

En kommentar till First impressions do indeed matter

  1. I totally agree on the ”less is more”.
    Thanks for the fivesecondtest link.
    The site was quite addictive, I got stuck doing a lot of tests…

    How was the result of your test for the english homepage?
    Did you find any potential improvements?


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