Ann Smarty offered some Fun Tools to Check Your Website Usability today and I was somewhat delighted to notice that one of these was the five second test. The irony is that this was mentioned on the day when Malcolm Gladwell, author of Blink, was to launch another book, Outliers: the Story of Success. Blink introduced the notion that our impression of a webpage may be fixed within a matter of seconds. The five second test can check this out.
The test comes in a number of versions. The classic five second test is that devised by Jared Spool, the very well-known usability expert. This asks people to list the things they can recall after viewing your interface for five seconds.
If you would like to test it out here are five second tests for the four SMM online properties:
For something a little easier, the sentiment five second test asks people to choose their most and least favorite elements after viewing your interface for five seconds. This test is suitable for identifying strengths and weaknesses in the design of your interfaces.
I encourage you to try out a few of these to see how this goes. Then think of your own website and consider how others may see your website in that first few seconds. That blink of an eye test may determine just how many visitors are inspired to explore your website.