First Impression in 7 Seconds

Posted on Jul 7, 2017 in Blog, Fundamentals

It better be great because you only have one chance! Your website is your stand-in for your own initial smile and handshake. Does your site make the grade?

Here’s an easy test to gather information about first impressions. I used this as an exercise at the National Coalition of Girls Schools conference in Washington in late June.

Gather a group of teachers and parents together—okay to mix ‘em up.

Take screen shots of 16 randomly selected website homepages from indy schools—and yours—for show and tell.

Hand out score cards with 16 sets of tic boxes for good, meh or poor ratings:

  • School brand
  • Graphic design
  • Message
  • Photography
  • Appeal

Project the website homepages for 7 seconds and follow with blank slides for a 10-second grading period. Run through the slides again if people can’t keep up.

Break the group into twos or threes to talk about what they noticed and how they responded to the different sites. Report findings out to the whole group.

You can pull off this awareness exercise in half an hour—less than a class period. It’s a great eye opener about how fast people judge the elements of a website and what this means for you and that all-important first impression.

Photo credit: Laurel School