Have you ever logged onto a website and waited for around ten minutes before any content loads? Maybe you've visited a site that loaded perfectly – only the web design was so dense, dry and boring that you immediately regretted clicking on the link and couldn't get away fast enough? Either way, the web design either failed to hold your attention, or never even had the slightest portion of it. As a site user, that's no big deal – there are dozens of other sites covering the same topic that are more exciting and engaging – but as a website owner, this situation spells complete business disaster.
In order to be a success, your web design must gain the immediate attention of site visitors and appeal to the very short attention span of today's society. Another thing to remember is that the immediate impressions formed by your web design can be lasting. It's often stated that our lasting impression of individuals is formed within our first ten seconds of meeting them and the same principle likely operates when customers meet your company via your website. For this reason, your web design must be instantly impressive, informative and entertaining to capture the fancy of internet surfers and transform them into paying clients.
Now you know why your web design has to have a 10 second impact, how can you go about achieving that?
One of the first and most important things not to do is use Flash or other slow loading software in your site intro. Any page that takes too long to load will drive customers away immediately – if you must use a complex intro for your web design, make sure you have a link to “skip intro.” Also keep in mind that Flash sites will not run on smart phones and some tablet computers.
In contrast, embedding video in your web design has a variety of rewards. Using video on the home page of your website takes advantage of the sway that audio-visual content has on the human eye. Video elements instantly enliven a web design and capture the attention of site visitors fast. Unlike plain text, videos display information in a casual, informative and entertaining manner. Another way of achieving a 'wow' effect for your site visitors in the first 10 seconds is to employ humour and interaction on your home page. Like video, design elements that enlarge, change colour or animate to uncover surprising or funny alternatives will engage visitors on multiple levels.