18 January 2006
Maybe I need a bigger bird
A research team at Carleton University in Ottawa has concluded that the time it takes for a visitor to judge a Web site is no more than 0.05 second.
The Canadian team showed volunteers glimpses of websites, lasting for only 50 milliseconds. The volunteers then had to rate the websites in terms of their aesthetic appeal.
The researchers found that the speedily formed conclusions closely tallied with opinions of the websites that had been made after much longer periods of examination.
Gitte Lindgaard, lead researcher of the paper, expressed her surprise at the results. "My colleagues believed it would be impossible to really see anything in less than 500 milliseconds."
I think that at the heart of the matter is the template: not the one used to construct the site, but the ones we use for comparison which we keep in the back of our heads. We may not be 100-percent thrilled with our own sites, but we know what we like, and, perhaps more important, what we don't like. Armed with this information, we can judge a site on an aesthetic basis, or on any other basis we can process quickly enough. For instance, if your criteria for rejection include "too many overly-cute titles" and "articles about Maureen Dowd," I expect you'll be gone from here well before those 50 milliseconds are up.
(Via Population Statistic.)Posted at 6:18 AM to Blogorrhea