Design To 10 Second Landmarks

You can design as many intuitive web applications and write as many well constructed sentences as you like, but if your user does not get to see them then it’s largely been a waste of time. You need to have your most impactful graphic and your most direct copy as the first thing that a user sees when they land on your website. It used to be said that you had 30 seconds to impress a website visitor, but instead use the 10 second rule.

Within the first 10 seconds a user needs to:

1. Relate what they searched for on Google to what they see on the page.

2. Be visually impressed by what they see.

3. Understand enough about the business to want to read and see more.

A user needs to know what your business is, what you offer and why you’re different within the first 10 seconds of being on the page. It’s a hard ask, but it’s what you need to achieve as a designer and copywriter.

Then, once you’ve passed that stage work on the presumption you have 10 more seconds to navigate them to where they want to go. Make navigation clear and easy to understand. Once they’ve found it, then you have a further 10 seconds to ensure that page is consistent with the home page and offers enough information for the user to want to read more.

Then you are at the magical 30 second mark and your blogs, web apps and bespoke graphics can come in to play to convince the user that your offering is right for them and matches their requirements.

But focus on the first 10 seconds, then the next 10 seconds etc… Make sure your design is bold and clear, working with your copywriter to grab the user’s attention instantly.

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