Designing for the First Five Seconds (updated)

2d719a871ac6062f87ade207ff6802b8?s=47 Ross Johnson
August 16, 2014

Designing for the First Five Seconds (updated)

People make snap judgements. In fact, most users only take 50 milliseconds to form their first impression of your site. This impression lasts the remainder of their visit and even influences return visits. Suffice to say, the first five seconds a user experiences your site is extremely important.

Designing for first impressions is no easy task. 50 milliseconds isn’t enough time to read a single line of copy or even fully comprehend what you’re looking at. So how can you design for good first impressions?

The key is understanding human psychology and emotional reactions. Despite our highly evolved state, all humans have a subconscious “lizard brain” that makes lightning fast assessments about what feels good or bad. If you understand the lizard brain, you can use design to illicit positive first impressions.

2d719a871ac6062f87ade207ff6802b8?s=128

Ross Johnson

August 16, 2014
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  1. 3.

    Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy were both US presidents,

    elected one hundred years apart. 3.7designs.co / @37designs
  2. 4.
  3. 9.

    They were both killed on a Friday, sitting next to

    their wives. 3.7designs.co / @37designs
  4. 12.

    Both were succeeded by a someone with the last name

    of "Johnson" 3.7designs.co / @37designs
  5. 25.

    This story begins with my parents.
 We all have an

    internal narrative we use to frame our lives. 3.7designs.co / @37designs
  6. 27.
  7. 29.

    His company, Puffer Hubbard, designed beautiful, industrial refrigerators. His company,

    Puffer Hubbard, designed beautiful, industrial refrigerators.
  8. 30.
  9. 32.

    My mom was a social worker. No, that doesn’t mean

    she tweeted professionally. 3.7designs.co / @37designs
  10. 42.

    This is why you have five seconds to make an

    impression. 3.7designs.co / @37designs
  11. 46.

    In five seconds you Make a quick, uninformed assessment about

    how you feel. 3.7designs.co / @37designs
  12. 50.

    How we think - vs - how we think we

    think. 3.7designs.co / @37designs
  13. 57.

    The neocortex came much later than the limbic system and

    reptilian complex. 3.7designs.co / @37designs
  14. 58.

    Judgements originate in the reptilian complex and limbic system and

    are justified later by the neocortex. 3.7designs.co / @37designs
  15. 59.

    “[I] refer to two systems in the mind, System 1

    and System 2” 3.7designs.co / @37designs — Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
  16. 60.

    “System 1 operates automatically and quickly, with little or no

    effort and no sense of voluntary control.” 3.7designs.co / @37designs — Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
  17. 61.

    “System 2 allocates attention to the effortful mental activities that

    demand it, including complex computations.” 3.7designs.co / @37designs — Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
  18. 62.

    You are not in full control of all thoughts, emotions

    or actions. 3.7designs.co / @37designs
  19. 63.

    “…what we think of as free will is largely an

    illusion: much of the time, we are simply operating on automatic pilot, and the way we think and act — and how well we think and act on the spur of the moment — are a lot more susceptible to outside influences than we realize.” 3.7designs.co / @37designs — Blink by Malcom Gladwell
  20. 72.

    Him was worried she always from are Florida oranges temperature

    ball the throw toss silently shoes give replace old the us bing sing play let sunlight makes temperature wrinkle raisins be will sweat lonely they 3.7designs.co / @37designs
  21. 73.

    Him was worried she always from are Florida oranges temperature

    ball the throw toss silently shoes give replace old the us bingo sing play let sunlight makes temperature wrinkle raisins be will sweat lonely they 3.7designs.co / @37designs
  22. 75.

    Male or Family 3.7designs.co / @37designs Female or Career Babies

    Sarah Tom Commerce Domestic Lisa Bob Office
  23. 76.

    Male or Career 3.7designs.co / @37designs Female or Family Siblings

    Shelly Tim Selling Promotion Donald Kitchen Robert
  24. 87.

    A V A I L A B I L I

    T Y H E U R I S T I C 3.7designs.co / @37designs
  25. 89.

    Reading the words triggers a range of associations, and even

    causes a physical reaction in your body. 3.7designs.co / @37designs
  26. 92.

    V I S C E R A L R E

    A C T I O N S 3.7designs.co / @37designs
  27. 102.

    C O G N I T I V E E

    A S E 3.7designs.co / @37designs
  28. 104.

    EASY 3.7designs.co / @37designs STRAINED Feels familiar Feels true Feels

    Good Feels Effortless Feels Suspicious Feels uncomfortable Feels taxing
  29. 106.
  30. 107.
  31. 108.
  32. 110.
  33. 111.
  34. 113.

    Adolf Hitler was born in 1892 Adolf Hitler was born

    in 1887 3.7designs.co / @37designs
  35. 120.
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  37. 122.
  38. 123.

    T H I N S L I C I N

    G 3.7designs.co / @37designs
  39. 125.

    3.7designs.co / @37designs Looks professionally designed credible logo Food related

    Looks expensive Earthy / Organic Style Modern Salmon Lentils Broccoli Paper Crinkled Wood Table Dark Looks Modern Food related Buy food Classy Hipster
  40. 131.

    The first five seconds of observation greatly impacts the overall

    success of a design. 3.7designs.co / @37designs
  41. 133.

    V I S C E R A L R E

    A C T I O N S 3.7designs.co / @37designs
  42. 134.

    C O G N I T I V E E

    A S E 3.7designs.co / @37designs
  43. 136.

    T H I N S L I C I N

    G 3.7designs.co / @37designs