When I was doing the solo web design thing a couple years back I found I always had a hard time explaining the importance of design to a client. As a lover of great design you know the value in it, but most business people like to hear these things in quantitative terms. Last month I talked about design and getting links, but even that might not be enough to persuade a client. Next I tackled design and banner ads, but even that might not push your potential client over the edge to lay down the cash to pay for your services.
Well here is a more professional study done by researchers who get paid to research this kind of thing. Nature.com is reporting that the majority of people pass judgement on a website in less than second. If that doesn’t show your clients the value great design has, then I’m not sure what does.
Lindgaard and her team presented volunteers with the briefest glimpses of web pages previously rated as being either easy on the eye or particularly jarring, and asked them to rate the websites on a sliding scale of visual appeal. Even though the images flashed up for just 50 milliseconds, roughly the duration of a single frame of standard television footage, their verdicts tallied well with judgements made after a longer period of scrutiny.
The lasting effect of first impressions is known to psychologists as the ‘halo effect’: if you can snare people with an attractive design, they are more likely to overlook other minor faults with the site, and may rate its actual content (such as this article, for example) more favourably.
Fascinating and a great article to show current and future clients. Looking back at which categories will fail in 2006 and the companies within them, I wouldn’t be surprised to see many fall based on poor design.
Article found via Darren.