Psychological studies suggest we form our opinion about someone within the first few milliseconds of meeting them. And apparently we’re no better when it comes to businesses.
We have evolved to trust our eyes. I have the growing suspicion that this was a bad idea. We should’ve done it like the dogs and gone with our noses and ears instead. Since I found out about how people use facetune and photoshop to alter their selfies, I don’t trust anything I see online anymore… but I digress.
A user’s first impression of your business is 94% design related. More than that, they will judge your business's integrity based on your website. That’s how much design impacts how others perceive you and your business. And you should use this to your advantage.
Visual design is so amazing because you can use it to convey plenty of subtle messages at once. Want to show that you’re a young and fun business? Use quirky fonts and fun animations. Want your page's visitors to feel like you’re speaking directly to them? Show images of people who look like them having a great time. Want your clients to trust you with difficult financial decisions? Go for calming colours and a clean layout.
The reason this is so important is that we don’t like reading text anymore. Text is a very slow way of conveying information. Images and visual design are much faster tools to get a message across. They’re great at setting the tone of the “conversation” you want to start with your potential clients. So, let design do the dirty work of conveying those difficult emotional messages - and use your sales copy to do the rest.