Powerful pumpkins, web design and the unlikely parallels

The Gist

  • Your visitors will take an astonishing 50 milliseconds to judge your website

  • “Non-verbal” communication can actually be more significant in persuasion

  • Your website design matters!

Discover what we can learn from the election of Donald Trump, and how the improbable success of the world’s prospective most powerful Pumpkin in Chief has some unlikely parallels with important Web design principles. Well, assuming the world hasn’t just ended.

He’s all set to become the world’s most powerful straw haired pumpkin (top three for sure). As unlikely as it may seem, though, Donald “J” Trump’s improbable route to the Oval Office can teach us a few things about web design. If you want to boost your own Web performance, there’s a few lessons in there that could help.

Despite a lot of unfavourable opinions of Donald Trump, he scored highly as being “intense” and “competitive”. With his buccaneering, bombastic slogan, “Make America Great Again”, the campaign scored big for all its blusterous rhetoric. Yet, it was also highly minimalist in terms of concrete policies and actions. In short, the actual content of his campaign played second fiddle. Ultimately, it seems it was more than just words “wot won it”.

It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it!

In the 1960s, researchers from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) published a paper. Their study found your “non-verbal” communication can actually be more persuasive than what you are actually saying. This demonstrates one important principle. Successfully conveying your message is much more than just what you say.

So, in website design, are there really equivalents to “tone of voice”, and “body language”?

Why visual communication matters

Studies show you have a small window of opportunity of 10-20 seconds to ‘wow’ your visitor with your content, before they get bored and visit another site. However, it’s also been demonstrated that your visitors will take an astonishing 50 milliseconds to judge your website upon viewing it. That’s less time than it takes to scratch your head!

While you’re left scratching your own head at that fact (or indeed a Trump presidency), here’s something to chew over. In that 50 millisecond interval, your content itself will not be a part of that process of judgement. That’s right: your content is irrelevant to the initial impression of your brand. Unless your visitors are super advanced human/robot hybrids from the future. Which they’re not. Yet.

In short, your “non verbal” communication, i.e. the visual impression you present to your visitor, is critical to your brand. Use it, and you can better retain the interest of your audience online.

So, what’s our advice? Invest in those 50 milliseconds wisely. Here’s where it’s critical for you to employ your website’s visual ‘wow factor’ to maximise the impression you’re giving your visitors… and guess what?… We can do that for you.

Discover more about our web design services here.

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