The Halo Effect

Check out this article by the ABC. "Internet users quick to judge". It outlines a theory that I have been an advocate of for quite some time. It's the theory that people indeed DO judge a book by it's cover.

The article states that internet users are so quick to judge a site that they can rate a sites visual appeal in 1/20th of a second. Good visual design causes an emotional reaction. And that initial positive reaction influences subsequent judgements. This is called the Halo Effect.

With such a plethora of sites on the web and the speed of internet connections today, people are jumping from one site to the next, to the next, to the next. Hitting a site and exiting within seconds and making up their minds about the content without even reading the front page. We all do this. I recently had this discussion with a client who was worried about customers on dial-up connections. He wanted to keep the visuals to a minimum so pages loaded quickly. It's a fair point and it's easy to understand this position. But, the majority of web users today are on modern computers, they have broadband and they expect a better internet experience.

Unfortunately, if the visuals don't cut it then your site is not doing anything to promote the quality of your company or products.

Still, content is King when it comes to a successful website. But, to get people to stay, read it and give it credibility you need to have very good graphic design.

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It's your first impression

john-pitchers-avatar smAbout John Pitchers

John Pitchers is co-founder and lead developer at Joomstore where his primary role is the design and development of Joomla websites. He is also the developer of the FocalPoint maps extension for Joomla. John has been building CMS based web sites since 2004, originally working with Mambo before it forked into Joomla. When not writing PHP, Javascript or CSS you'll find John carving up the hills around Baldivis on his longboard (long before Walter Mitty made it famous).

Find out more about John on his page and . Follow John on Twitter.

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