The Importance of First Impressions

When we encounter something new, whether it is a person or a brand, a first impression is formed. Exactly how long does it take to make that first impression? Researchers who study the phenomenon may have the answer.

According to them, our perception, judgment and opinion of what we experience sometimes occurs in just milliseconds. That’s a critical piece of information for businesses looking to engage with an interactive agency to create their online brand and presence.

First impressions all but determine the relationship a user has with anything they experience, including a digital experience.

When it comes to web design, there are two things that determine a user’s first impression of any company website, app, or other digital product: representation, and presentation.

Representation is both how and what the user learns about the digital product, before actually experiencing it themselves. It depends largely on the channel of communication through which the user learns about the product, as well as the digital product’s reputation. Within the representations of a digital product are the user’s own expectations and preconceived reality of it.

Presentation is how and what the user learns from their own experience of a digital product. This depends greatly on the quality and structure of the design experience, and the brand values. If the quality of the design is good, and it’s structured in a way that conforms to the user’s understanding of the brand and its values, then the presentation meets the user’s expectations without any unforeseeable or undesirable outcomes.

At Imaginuity, we always ask how our clients are represented, and how they present themselves. Through our collaborative, requirements-gathering process with our clients, we determine what each client is presenting to their users. In addition, we learn how they represent themselves, through our own discovery process.

In conclusion, it is necessary for a digital product to have good representation and presentation, in order for it to form and later meet the user’s expectations.

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