Five second tests
Optimize the clarity of your designs by measuring first impressions and recall.
What are they?
Five second tests are a method of user research that help you measure what information users take away and what impression they get within the first five seconds of viewing a design. They're commonly used to test whether web pages are effectively communicating their intended message.
How do they work?
Participants are given five seconds to view a design, after which they answer some simple questions. Before the test starts participants are given a primer on the format and reminded to pay close attention. Depending on the goal of the test, they may also be given some context for what to look out for.
What can I use them for?
Five second tests are suitable for determining if users' first impressions of your page are on point. This includes answering questions like:
- What is the purpose of the page?
- What are the main elements you can recall?
- Who do you think the intended audience is?
- Did the design/brand appear trustworthy?
- What was your impression of the design?
Why just five seconds?
Five seconds is long enough for a good design to communicate its primary message. Furthermore there is a growing trend for website visitors to open many sites at once, reducing the attention each receives and increasing the importance of effective design and messaging.