The headline above is a lie. Recent studies have shown that given the increasing speed of the Internet, websites now have less than 0.03 seconds to impress a visitor. Less than a split second to invite someone to stay and make themselves at home. Less than a second to have them take a look at your company, your service or your products.
With this limitation in mind, do you think your current website design will keep your customers or will they leave your site and never return again? Once on your website, there is no guarantee that your one time visitor will become a permanent customer. Before you launch that site, check the following:
Check Your Loading Times
If your site is too heavy to load in a few seconds, chances are your customers do not even wait to see it. They look at the little icon and close the window. Of all web design functionalities, loading times are the most critical. People are no longer patient. They no longer have to deal with dial-up modems or slow Internet service. They do not need your slow site in their lives, unless you are their bank or a service they desperately need.
Many countries, even those classified as underdeveloped countries, enjoy high-speed Broadband internet, Wi-Fi and even LTE (Long Term Evolution or 4G) mobile Wi-Fi. And you cannot be bothered to fix your site so it loads just a fifth of a second faster.
Improve Your Color Scheme
Attractive design never fails to attract visitors. Humans are drawn to color and have many different psychological reactions to different hues. A fresh palette attracts visitors and gives them a subliminal impression about the website, what it is for and what to expect from it.
Color schemes also affect readability, so make sure to test your color schemes on your target market.
A Well-Designed Header
Does your header have impact? Does it tell your visitors what your website is about? Headers are important because they typically load first, even in the 1/10 of a second. They often contain the site's title and images that embody the website's personality. Headers or the top half of the site design (usually referred to as the part above the fold) should contain your company logo, navigation tools or search tools and other important features.
Do You Feel Familiar?
Avant-garde is good, but some people will recoil if they encounter a website with a layout so revolutionary they have no idea where to click. Clean, simple architecture is key to a great first impression and gives your visitor a concrete idea of what your website is for the moment the front page loads.
Keep in mind that this does not mean that your website has to be boring -- really. A great web design company can help you stick to convention but give the user a great user experience by playing with different design elements.
Are You Recognizable?
Is your marketing campaign cohesive? Is your customer able to identify your website offhand? Do they recognize what you are immediately or are you asking them to figure it out first? Or do you disguise your website as a blog when in reality you are an ecommerce site?
Recognizing the type of website they are on is key to a better user experience. Some companies and some websites like to make their customers guess by including strange navigation elements or vague copy on the front page. Confusing your customer will not do you any good.
Are You Appealing?
Visiting a website for the first time is like going on the first date -- first impressions last. Is your website's look and feel something that will keep users engaged? Often, a complex layout with multiple ads, too much content, small fonts and ugly design is the number one reason customers do not stay.
Poor design is a sign of laziness and is a sign that companies have given more thought to what they want instead of what the customer wants. Visual appeal is rated higher than content, but only for first impressions. Later on, what matters is what is on the website.
First impressions last, this is true for all humans who meet face to face and for all websites. Make sure you give the best first impression you can by appealing to your customer's visual sense and making it easy to be recognized.