Webeden Blog Softwate Update Give your website the 5 Second Test

Give your website the 5 Second Test

11 Replies

Softwate Update

You’ve got a great idea for a website. You use the WebEden website maker to put together the homepage and are really pleased with the results.

But how do you know that you’ve got the right design?

If you’ve got time, then you can ask a few colleagues what they think of the homepage. Others of you might show it to friends. People tell you what they think. But since you already know these people, what they say will be coloured by your relationship with them. Some of them might say they like it just to make you feel good. Others might give you good feedback on the design because you’ve already told them what the site is all about. In short, you get just a partial view of what a non-independent person thinks of your website.

And the other factor to take into account is: how long did your friends look at your site before they let you know what they thought? The quite scary statistic is that if someone can’t work out what your webpage is all about in less than 5 seconds, the chances are they will leave. We’re all so used to having easily accessible information; if we’re made to work for it we’d rather turn our backs than persevere.

Leaving a site in just a few seconds is called ‘bouncing’, and even the best sites in the world have a bounce rate of around 25%. What’s worse is that a majority of websites have a bounce rate closer to 50%, and many others – even websites of some quite big companies – have a bounce rate of near 75%.

You can view bounce rates using Google analytics. Follow this link for a video tutorial on how to install Google analytics on your website.

Going back to the original problem, how do you get honest feedback about your homepage design, so you can minimise your bounce rate? That’s where a great new service called Fivesecondtest.com comes in.

With fivesecondtest.com, you can upload a screenshot of any page from your website. Once uploaded, your screen shot is randomly presented for 5 seconds to anonymous volunteers. These testers then write down what they can remember about your website having looked at it, and email their reactions back to you.

You can also test out the procedure for yourself, and also check as many designs as you like, before pushing the test out to the volunteers.

Getting this feedback is invaluable. If a majority of testers can’t tell you quickly what your design is all about, then you need to change it. On the flip side, if most of the testers can accurately tell you what your site means, then you could well be onto a winner.

And since this service operates on a volunteer basis, you can try giving your feedback to other people’s designs, by signing up as a tester. This may well help you improve your ability to design a page that appeals to people instantly.

Give your website the five second test and let us know whether you found it useful.

  • http://www.alisoncross4webs.co.uk Alison Cross

    To take a screen shot (PC) get your screen looking the way you want it. Hit the ‘print screen button’ and then open up something like Paint. Click on the white empty box and select ‘copy’ and lo, your screenshot will dump into the Paint package.

    Then select the ‘cut’ rectangle box and cut out all the tabs and toolbars from the top of your image and save as a jpg, not a bitmap.

    Then you’re good to go.

    I’ve just done it for my own website, but it’s not exactly obvious from the fivesecondssite that you need to set up an account in order to get your results!

    Good luck my fellow builders :-)


  • admin

    Thanks for that advice Alison about how to take a screen grab.

    Taking a screen grab is a really useful thing to do – you can use it in lots of circumstances other than this!


  • http://www.alisoncross4webs.co.uk Alison Cross

    Got some feedback – but 5 secs is not a lot of time to look AND comment. However, I took some action and changed some copy on my front page and will resubmit for further scrutiny later today.

    How does one tell whether the feedback is good or not? I was supplied with some keywords…which ARE keywords (good, I guess?!) but no comments to indicate whether my graphics were good/irrelevant or colours were no good.

    Ah – THERE’S a new service that webeden can offer! A 30 second page scan that gives 10 keywords and remarks on design.


  • admin

    You’ve got us thinking there.

    The two angles could be:

    1. Get feedback from a bona fide designer on your website
    2. Get the WebEden community to give you feedback on your site.

    The 2nd one of these could be really good. Website buiders could upload (or just list) their website, and then users would volunteer to give feedback on the design.

    What do you think of that?


  • http://www.alisoncross4webs.co.uk Alison Cross

    I think either of these are great ideas!

    Other experienced eyeballs can only be a good thing. Plus it helps foster the concept of ‘webeden community’ yes?


  • admin

    Undoubtably! Watch this space!


  • http://www.readysteadygirls.eu Graham Welch

    They say that we form a lasting impression of people within five seconds, so why wouldn’t the same be true of a website?

    I tried the five-second test and even as I uploaded the image to test, I realised what people would say. Within 30 minutes, my fears were confirmed… Needless to say, I’ve changed the homepage already.

    This is a great tool. It made me see my site with fresh eyes.

  • admin

    Its not always nice to hear what other people think about your design – I tried it for our site and I felt a bit miffed! But its good that you can react to that, and improve as a consequence. Hope this will boost your dwell time!


  • http://fivesecondtest.com Matt Milosavljevic

    Hey all,

    Thanks for giving our site a write up and taking the time to try it out. Let me know if you have any questions or comments and I’ll be happy to respond.

    @AX the tests are five seconds in duration to view or click on, but you can take as much time as you like to write comments.

    I suggest reading this for the rationale behind five second tests: http://www.uie.com/articles/five_second_test/

  • admin

    Thanks Matt – appreciate the extra reading!

    What’s the best way to reach you with a question – on Twitter @fivesectest ?


  • http://www.alisoncross4webs.co.uk Alison Cross

    Hi Matt – thanks for coming here and taking the time to respond ;-)

    I’ll read that article asap. And I will try my site again. I did take part in a couple of tests while I was there and think that it’s a really great idea.