Designing for the First Five Seconds at WordCamp Chicago

Below are my slides and summary of a talk I delivered at WordCamp Chicago, 2014. Link to video record will be forthcoming.

People make snap judgements. In fact, most users only take 50 milliseconds to form their first impression of your site. This impression lasts the remainder of their visit and even influences return visits. Suffice to say, the first five seconds a user experiences your site is extremely important.

Designing for first impressions is no easy task. 50 milliseconds isn’t enough time to read a single line of copy or even fully comprehend what you’re looking at. So how can you design for good first impressions?

The key is understanding human psychology and emotional reactions. Despite our highly evolved state, all humans have a subconscious “lizard brain” that makes lightning fast assessments about what feels good or bad. If you understand the lizard brain, you can use design to illicit positive first impressions.