In less time than it takes to read this sentence, you've formed an opinion. In study after study, psychologists report that the first time we meet someone or see something new we reach a conclusion. It happens in an instant, in as little as two seconds.
These findings cut across all demographics and professions, including teachers, engineers, scientists…everyone. It is a human trait, not an occupational one. I've found articles on the topic in Forbes as well as Science.
To put it into perspective, just think how you felt getting ready for your first date - you focused entirely on making the best impression possible.
To compete in business, you have to apply that same thinking. Your customers are getting pitched with new ideas every day. We all are. How does your message stand out? How is it going to cut through the slag and strike the heart of your customer?
The bad news is its not getting any easier. New media choices keep springing up, and distribution deals keep getting sharper. But, there is good news: your customer's needs, for the most part, remain the same. Marketing methods may be changing faster than ever, but your customer still needs to solve the same problems.
The importance of good, clean design offers an answer. If you are introducing a new product that changes the technology landscape, your website needs to deliver on that promise and look the part. An email announcing a product that sets new quality standards shouldn't look like a legal announcement. Cutting corners is no longer an option, because it's easier than you think to look and sound great.
I'm always impressed with the business leaders I meet. I've found that many are unaware of the peculiar science of information design. Information design is the practice of presenting information effectively, not just attractively. Good information design creates messages people like instinctively - with their first impression.
I'm happy to talk about what I've seen and I'd love to hear your ideas on first impressions, too. Send me a link or give me a call.