Avoid Annoying Practices

Customers form an opinion about your site in 50 milliseconds, twice as fast as the blink of an eye. For better or worse, these initial opinions are hard to change, especially if those opinions are negative.

A study by Stanford’s Persuasion Technology Lab found that 46% of people ranked a site’s design as a top factor in determining credibility and cited four elements common to what users thought of as attractive sites:

  • Layout – The arrangement of visual elements on a page. Attractive websites feature an uncluttered layout that is easy to navigate and focused on the appropriate page elements.
  • Typography – The use of type in a design, including font, size, color, layout, alignment, and other factors. Typography should be big and clear enough to be legible to all users and should never be obscured by the site’s background color.
  • Images – Any photos or videos featured on a site. Images should be used purposefully so they don’t clutter a site or add unneeded page weight, which can cause slower loading times. Images and video should also be high-resolution and optimized for both desktop and mobile viewing.

The study also compiled a list of factors that specifically decreased a site’s credibility, including:

  • Autoplay animation and video
  • Blinking banners
  • Clashing or overly bright colors
  • Unnecessary pop-ups

Additionally, details such as grammar, spelling, broken links and grainy images can have an outsize impact on how visitors judge the credibility of your site. An analysis of 5,000 website visits by Website Planet found that pages with sloppy grammar and spelling had an 85% higher bounce rate than those properly written and edited. It’s clear that it’s worth sweating the small stuff.