How design creates a powerful first impression?

How design creates a powerful first impression?


First impression matters - and this applies to almost everything in our life - it is not only about cars, clothes, and people - but includes also websites and applications we use every day. 

In theory - anything we use, any interaction we experience - evokes some certain emotions - happiness or sadness, satisfaction or disappointment, curiosity or boredom - and here’s your role to make sure that emotions you trigger correspond to your product and planned strategy. This also explains a necessity of specifying your target group before - that enables you to adjust not only a visual design, but also content, tone of voice, and usability, to expectations and needs of your prospective customers.


However, you don’t have much time to make a good first impression on your audience, convey your brand message and convince them to choose your product. According to some researches, it takes only 50 milliseconds for your page visitors to decide whether they like it or not (see the study results here) - making these first few moments crucial for you and your product. To use this limited time effectively, it’s worth to consider UI and UX design, which may provide possibly the best user outcomes.


The UX (User Experience) has a clear-cut role in designing process - a role of improving overall user satisfaction with a product by providing functionality, usability and meeting user needs. But when it comes to the initial impression - it’s more than just efficiency and functionality of a product, as the absolute first impression begins way before anything is clicked. This impression is related to gut reactions, resulting from the User Interface design (UI) - the visual design of product - whether it’s an app or a website. A good design creates product pleasing and visually attractive. To confirm this assumption, here’s the study conducted by Missouri University of Science and Technology, which reveals that 94% of impressions are design-related, including factors such as logo, images, colours, navigation menu and social media icons you can find on a site (see the study results here).

...But how to find out which solutions work best? Which ones are attractive to users? The answer is simple: testing. User testing gives a great opportunity to see your product and its design through users eyes. Once the product is tested you get an unbiased perspective from users, but also an invaluable detailed feedback about elements and functions of your product that users like or not. Having these opinions, you are able to improve your product, its design and user experience you provide. After going through user testings and implementing improvements, you have much better chances at creating a powerful first impression.


The visual first impression - depending if it’s good or bad - can help you attract lifetime, faithful customers, or - discourage prospective customers forever. However, you need to keep in your mind, that in most business cases, there is no second chance to create a positive relationship with prospective customer, once we have already failed. Prototyping, testing, designing according to your target group’s needs will help you avoid this risk, and what is more will put you one step closer to create a perfect initial impression - making your users satisfied and pleased. This will build a positive first experience and long lasting relationship between customers and your brand.



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Martyna Jakóbczyk

Product Owner, UX Researcher