Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Don't blink or you'll miss it

I expect that sometime in the not-too-distant future, we won't spend as much time worrying about Web site design as we do now. Content is separating from its containers. Thus the containers are growing less important.

That's not to say that we should abandon all efforts at creating a beautiful site. I still like things that are pretty and clean. I still enjoy a site where the layout and navigation make sense to me. And a new study seems to suggest that the visual appearance of a site is more important that many writers would like to believe. Canadian researchers said that Web site visitors make "aesthetic judgments that influence the rest of their experience with an Internet site" in less than 1/20th of a second.
In other words, a first-time visitor will decide whether or not to hit the backspace key in less than the blink of an eye. "So Web designers have to make sure they're not offending users visually," one of the researchers told Reuters.

I've written about some of the uglier sites in B2B before. Take a look, and if your eyes can handle it, follow the links. And if you're some sort of visual masochist, take a look at this text-heavy monster or this cluttered mess.

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