Almost every day we are totally overflown with different products, different brands, and colors. Each company is fighting for our attention and trying to make a sale, based on some images (or rarely texts). Most of the time we do not even realize how much information our brain tries to digest, and are not really aware of the processes that are responsible for our choices.
For sure at some point in time, you were wondering why you choose one brand of product over another. Sometimes, of course, the personal experiences matter (taste, smell, etc) but in many cases, there are no visible factors that make you choose a particular product. In these cases especially the branding, the images connected to it and the overall feeling come in handy – as they are mostly responsible for our choices. Sometimes the choice can be done only based on the packaging!
Our sight is definitely one of the most important senses. The vast majority of information is gathered using your eyes. Very often we make assumptions or have some particular feelings just by looking at something – it makes it way easier for our brain to label things than to analyze each case individually. This leads us to a solid conclusion that the first impression is crucial in many cases, as humans have a tendency to simplify things (even though this doesn’t always mean we will buy an actually better product)
Our senses are very important for each of us. One of the most important senses is seeing. The research shows that thanks to it we can receive from 80 to 90% of the information from the surrounding environment. Looking at something we immediately assess the person or thing we see. For example, when we meet someone after just a few seconds we label that person as nice or not. Of course, we do it mainly basing on our visual observation and this rate may be heavily projected on our future relations. It is very similar to our shopping choices. When buying very often we are affected by the look of the product and we choose these which seem more attractive even though they might not be better.
If you need a proof for what I’ve just written, tell me which toothpaste would you choose:)
Brands in the digital world
When it comes to the web it gets even more tricky. Our brain has to digest a lot of information and make a quick decision solely based on our first impression. Why is that? Mostly because there is too much information on the web and as I mentioned earlier – our brain wants simplicity.
To have some numbers – research proves, that the user needs 10 seconds on average to asses if a given website is something he is looking for or not – is it trustworthy, and does it make you want to use given services or buy specific products.
Obviously, it’s not valid for all types of products, as in certain situations you will still stay on a website even if it doesn’t feel right, but the first impression will stay and the amount of effort is bigger to make the user feel safe with our product.
Content is the king?
Having said that you must not forget about the content. Not only looks are important – once you will get the users attention, he must easily find the information he needs in order to make any kind of decision:)
Another important factor – not that much related to design, but something that can improve or deteriorate the overall feeling. Let me give you an example – it wouldn’t help you if you had the most attractive design in the world when your website would generate errors or load dramatically slow (this is a part of UX in my opinion though).
User experience (UX)
Even if your website is pretty and has nice content it may happen that browsing it is very inconvenient and irritating. If you can’t find desirable information in a few clicks, most probably you will fail. This is especially important in e-commerce websites, where users are expecting specific solutions or a certain flow of actions.
User interface (UI)
A representation of good branding on the Internet is a well-designed website (or app) which together with good user experience (UX) creates a complete product. Obviously, its look should be consistent with the brand image of the business and used in other channels of communication.
Branding and brand awareness is all that can build your brand image, starting from the logotype, through company colors, fonts, and images used in promotional materials to the website itself. A company which cares about their image sticks to some consistent visual guidelines.
As you see there a lot of factors that sum up to a good design, and of course, when push comes to shove, the user will eventually focus on the content, but as we stated in the beginning – it is pretty hard to change the first impression. That is why whenever you think of a good design that may increase your sales, registrations, or whatever is that you need, you must think about all the pieces of a pretty complex puzzle – and what’s more – you need to be consistent.