We form first impressions of the people and things we encounter in our daily lives in an extraordinarily short timeframe. We know the first impression a website’s design creates is crucial in capturing users’ interest. In less than 50 milliseconds, users build an initial “gut feeling” that helps them decide whether they’ll stay or leave. This first impression depends on many factors: structure, colors, spacing, symmetry, amount of text, fonts, and more.
In our study we investigated how users’ first impressions of websites are influenced by two design factors:
- Visual complexity — how complex the visual design of a website looks
- Prototypicality — how representative a design looks for a certain category of websites