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. Invest in the infrastructure

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

Invest in quality website development and hosting to make it happen. Your design must be responsive and work across all platforms.

Check your site speed, by using the Mobile Usability Report or the Google Page Speed Insights tool. The average time it takes to fully load the average mobile landing page is 22 seconds. However, research also indicates 53% of people will leave a mobile page if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load!

2. Keep it strong and simple

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

Highlight key points with film and photography, but don’t let your site get dragged 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. Be clear and get to the point

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

4. Be ready to scroll

Research indicates that 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. The findings of the study 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 for research

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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We have been designing and building websites for organisations in Oxford 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.

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