Does your website pass the blink test?

How long does it take for you to make a first impression when you meet someone new? According to psychologists, it takes just a tenth of a second to form an impression of a stranger and what’s more, those impressions tend to stick.

It’s the same with your website. It has just seconds to make that all-important first impression the right one. Good enough to draw your visitor in to delve deeper. Web designers call it the blink test. That is how long it takes for a visitor to scan your site. If it doesn’t do enough to pique interest, it’s game over.

So, how do you get them to stick around? How do you get your site to pass the blink test? Here are our top five tricks of the trade.

1. Make sure your website loads quickly

No-one will wait patiently while content loads. Your website must load quickly.

  • Invest in quality website development and hosting to make it happen.
  • Your design must be mobile friendly and work across all platforms.
  • Make sure updates are made on a regular basis and audit the system to make it as efficient as possible.

2. Simple web design

Use strong and simple graphic designs to help visitors find key content quickly.

  • Highlight key points with film and photography, but use sparingly to avoid slowing your website down.
  • Optimise photographs and don’t let your site get bogged down with flashy features which increase download speeds.
  • Use white space and colour to let your most important content shine.
Dart board - get to the point

3. Clear web content

  • Copy and design should be straightforward and clear.
  • Don’t use complicated language or jargon. Keep sentences short.
  • Prioritise content and use headlines to draw your visitor’s eye as they scan the page.

4. Prioritise important web content

It’s important to keep your most important content ‘above the fold’ (a term which harks back to newspapers and the space seen above the fold). In digital terms, it means the screen area before you need to scroll. Research found that the content above the fold received 57% of viewing time, the second screen received about a third of that (17% viewing time) and the remaining 26% was spread in a long-tail distribution.

In other words, the closer a piece of information is to the top of the page, the higher the chance that it will be read.

5. Use a heat map tool to track web visitors

Consider using a heat map tool which will track eye or mouse activity to find out where your visitor’s eyes are going and establish what content is working best. is one of the popular heat mapping tools available.


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Oxford Web has been designing and building websites for Oxfordshire businesses for over 15 years. We apply our creative and technical know-how to deliver the perfect solution. Get in touch and find out how we can help you.