Shostack + Friends Blog Archive


Reacting to Web Pages


Researchers led by Dr. Gitte Lindgaard at Carleton University in Ontario wanted to find out how fast people formed first impressions. They tested users by flashing web pages for 500 msec and 50 msec onto the screen, and had participants rate the pages on various scales. The results at both time intervals were consistent between participants, although the longer display produced more consistent results. Yet, in as little as 50 ms, participants formed judgments about images they glimpsed. The “halo effect” of that emotional first impression carries over to cognitive judgments of a web site’s other characteristics including usability and credibility. We talked to Dr. Lindgaard about her study…

From “First Impressions Count in Website Design.” I found out about this via Wired News, but they didn’t link to the article, so I won’t link to them. Sucky website via