That’s about how much a person takes to make a decision about you when you stand in front of them.
- Your intelligence.
- Your lifestyle.
- Your business.
- Your likability and respectability.
It might seem hard to imagine in our modern lifestyle, but that impulsive decision making that helped us survive as a species is very much with us today. In fact, marketers of all stripes depend on our immediate impulses to prime us for persuasion, sell us products, connect us with brands and share our positive experiences with our friends.
And this mindset doesn’t leave us as we sit next to our desktops or pull our phones or tablets up close. In fact, our online impulsiveness and impatience is an even cleaner expression of this blink thinking. Studies on web usability indicate that the speed and frequency of our impulse decisions rise along with the general declines in tolerance for delays.
These have become consistent trends in Internet usability and website design, but it also affects other business decisions. In his 1999 book Blink, Malcolm Gladwell claims that snap decisions in business are critical to success. What you need to develop is the “thin-slicing” skill, or homing in on the key details, removing bias, fear and objections lodged in our unconscious behaviour. The impulse decisions and impulse testing have real-world applications and real-world benefits.
The Blink Test: Click. Look. Listen.
Probably the easiest way to try the blink principle is to visit a popular blog that you are not familiar with. Go to a blog site directory (like technorati) or randomly choose a topic in google with the word “blog.” Click the first link you find, then look and listen to your impulses.
Ask yourself these questions as soon as you can see the page:
- Did the page load quickly?
- How does the design “feel?”
- Is the content easy to read/understand/”feel?”
Ask the Bigger Questions.
Now comes the time for you to ask deeper emotional questions, and if you have time, ask why you get the answers you from these questions. Your eye and mind may seek out some surprising answers:
- What kind of sense do you get from the blog? Why?
- Do you feel like the creators are credible or respectable? Why?
- Are they professional? Why do they appear so?
- Are they likeable/approachable? In what ways?
Sites that fail this test may be scaring away readers, and this chokes off potential buyers, They may not find themselves being shared on social media channels or any well-deserved directories.
Worse, the brands behind the blog sites may be losing credibility as more and more content gets posted. It’s a scary thought, but we’ve seen this happen a lot.
But this can be remedied. It can take a long to do it, so it’s worth it to get this right the first time.
Bring it Home.
Put your website and blog to the blink test. Offer this little quiz to your buyers and new business friends. If they are open to the idea, you’ll get great insights into what people’s expectations are for your website/blog and how well you measure up (or if you don’t measure up at all).
And if your impulse test leads to panic for your team, give us a call or get in touch. We’re really good at helping brands out that get stung by bad news from their web visitors!