It takes about 50 milliseconds (that’s 0.05 seconds) for users to form an opinion about your website that determines whether they like your site or not, whether they’ll stay or leave.
Attention website owner: You have 50 milliseconds to make a good first impression!
Three studies were conducted to ascertain how quickly people form an opinion about web page visual appeal. In the first study, participants twice rated the visual appeal of web homepages presented for 500 ms each. The second study replicated the first, but participants also rated each web page on seven specific design dimensions. Visual appeal was found to be closely related to most of these. Study 3 again replicated the 500 ms condition as well as adding a 50 ms condition using the same stimuli to determine whether the first impression may be interpreted as a ‘mere exposure effect’ (Zajonc 1980). Throughout, visual appeal ratings were highly correlated from one phase to the next as were the correlations between the 50 ms and 500 ms conditions. Thus, visual appeal can be assessed within 50 ms, suggesting that web designers have about 50 ms to make a good first impression.
Judgement Before They Realise
It has been proven that a small set of neurons in the brain activate a pre-judgment before any conscious awareness even takes place. If you’ve ever made an impulse purchase at a supermarket only to wonder later why you purchased it then you will know this to be true.
Consumers use holistic (emotional) and analytic (cognitive) judgement in the decision to buy a product.