June 29, 2016 / by Squat New York
“Welcome, friends!” you’d like your website to say. “Come in, take a load off. Let’s see if I’ve got what you’re looking for.”
You want your site to be hospitable and subtly persuasive the second a user steps in because according to many different studies, a second is all you got. Even less! It takes about 50 milliseconds for users to form an opinion about a site. So basically, that’s just 0.05 seconds for them to decide either “it’s cool, imma stay” or “bleh, moving on.” This is why web design is most often better left to the professionals. Like us. *brushes shoulders off*
If you do decide to go at it yourself – which is totally doable thanks to website building platforms like Wix and Squarespace – consider these three things:
Less is definitely more
Once upon a time – in the early days of web design – people believed the more things on your site, the longer users would stay to check out everything. We’re not so sure that ever really worked. But we do know that today, the opposite is true. Just keep in mind people now have the attention spans of goldfish and will only read about 28% of the text. The best thing is to just kill every bit of content that doesn’t add value or interest to your site. Let only the important stuff live and be seen.
The best bits go above the fold
The fold works like a curtain. It hides anything that doesn’t show up immediately after entering a page until scrolling or clicking happens. The curtain may never even come down if visitors don’t like what they see above it. The moral of the story: put your most relevant and delicious information right at the top. It’s essentially your hook – your means of drawing people in.
Visuals beat text any day
Put simply, reading takes too long. The brain processes visual content much faster than textual content, like 60,000 times faster. And people love things they can easily consume, so why not just give the people what they want? If you can fit what you need to say in 3 words and explain the rest with an image or video, DO IT.
If this is all too much to remember, just think of a website like a plate of food. If it’s not appetizing to begin with, people won’t bite. But if it looks juicy and smells fresh, they’ll gobble it all up way past that fold. And best of all, they’ll come back for more.
Here at Squat New York we share the same philosophy as Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon: if a team isn’t full off of two pizzas, it’s too large.
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