How to Make a Great First Impression with Your Website
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How to Make a Great First Impression with Your Website
Home 5 Blogs 5 How to Make a Great First Impression with Your Website

Many Customer’s first impression of your company come from their User Experience on your website, making the digital experience the face of your business. Considering Customers make decisions about your website based on the User Interface in about three seconds, clearly your website needs to make a great impression quickly. The question is, why is it important to make a great first impression online?

First Impressions Matter

Whether you are talking about new people in your life or new companies you are considering giving your business, the first impression is important. Some studies have revealed that even after first hand knowledge is obtained the first impression can still weigh more in a person’s opinion about the individual.

We judge all books by their covers. We judge people, too, except it isn’t the cover we judge but how they say, “hello.”According to a study by Phil McAleer, a psychologist at the University of Glasgow, Scotland, the first word you hear a person speak makes a first impression. He studied the reaction of 64 people to the word hello (that was part of a larger paragraph he recorded them reading). He then had 324 people listen to the recorded word, “Hello” and give their opinions. Most of them agreed on the personality traits of the individual based on their voices.

Key Elements that New Users View

So what makes a great first impression (the “Hello”) the User Experience on your website says? The answer, like many things, depends on who is looking. Subconsciously, different signals in the user interface send messages to be interpreted by the individual loading the site. For example, what a job applicant is looking for in a digital experience is a lot different than what the average Customer wants.  Furthermore, since so many visits are initiated on mobile devices today, your site needs to make that impression quickly and in fewer pixels.

But no matter who the person is or why they are loading the site, or even what device they use to load it, there are few things that are undeniably important to making a great first impression with your Customers on their digital experience.

According to, a recent eye tracking study research shows some key elements that are critical to viewers in their User experience. If they found these elements (and liked them) users spent more time on the page. These key elements included:

  •      Your Logo:  The average time spent focuses here was 6.48 seconds
  •      Navigation Menu: 6.44 seconds
  •      Search Box: 6.0 seconds
  •      Written Content: 5.59 seconds
  •      Bottom Edge of Website: 5.25 seconds

Recently, I realized that my site needed an overhaul. It was time because I realized that the first impression I was sending with my old site was one that was going to be challenging to overcome. I am pleased with the end product.

If your Customers are using their digital experience to create their first impression with your organization, with what will they be greeted in the user interface? Will it be an easy to navigate, visually appealing site that seems to anticipate the needs of their user experience? Will it load quickly on their mobile device or web browser or show them the hourglass or spinning wheel of death? First impressions are the most important ones; so make sure yours is the one you want.

How did you design your digital experience to make a great first impression on Customers? We’d all be interested to hear your insight in the comments below.


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Colin Shaw is the founder and CEO of Beyond Philosophy, one of the world’s first organizations devoted to customer experience. Colin is an international author of four best-selling books and an engaging keynote speaker.

Follow Colin Shaw on Twitter @ColinShaw_CX