Are Your Website’s Visitors Noticing What You Intend Them to See?

7 04 2010

Web usability experts often say that most website visitors will decide if your site is what they are looking for within 5 seconds (or less).  If they don’t see what they came for, they will leave.  Because their time–not to mention all the work you put into your website–are valuable, your site has to welcome its guests and tell them there are indeed in the right place.

One online tool to help you figure out if your site’s visitors are really understanding the message you’re intending is fivesecondtest.  It is remarkably simple.  You upload a picture (or “screenshot”) of your website, logo, particular image, etc., to the fivesecondtest.com site.  Visitors get five seconds with the picture and then will be asked about the site.  You can pick one of two tests:

  1. Memory test. The visitor gets five seconds and then has to type what he can remember.
  2. Click test. The visitor gets five seconds to click on areas of interest, and then must describe them.

There is a free level that will give you a limited number of responses.  By paying a nominal fee you can continue to collect more information.  You can also increase the number of respondents by taking the test for others’ websites and earning “karma” points.

You can rely on random testers from fivesecondtest.com as your respondents, or you can also email a provided link to people you know (friends, colleagues, Facebook friends, Twitter followers, etc) to generate more data.  Preferably, you’d like this to go to people who do not know that the site is about self-defense or martial arts (that would skew the results for sure!).

Even if you decide to not test your site, I highly recommend you test other sites on fivesecondtest.com.  It is eye-opening what you won’t notice in that short amount of time!  Just serving as a tester can help you recognize pitfalls you can avoid when you next edit your own site.

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