Your page talks

First impressions matter.

They don’t die easy.

And they come fast.

Research shows that readers judge the appeal of a page in as little as 50 milliseconds.

The first impression isn’t just about aesthetics either. It’s about the big question: to read or not to read? Because conscious or not, we always run a cost-benefit analysis. We always ask: How much effort will this cost me?

Take a glance at any page to experience it on yourself.

This page for example:

Dense scientific paper. The first glance: does it invite you to read?

It talks to me.

“Reading me will not be easy,” it says.

Now have a look at this page:

This book invites to read. Picture by Oliver Reichenstein

It talks different. It takes me by the hand.

“Come along,” it says. “Trust me. I’ll be easy on you.”

And I wonder:

Isn’t that what all pages should be saying?


The picture of the book (Franz Kafka’s Ein Landarzt) is by Oliver Reichenstein who originally posted it on Google+ where he showed it next to an e-reader version. I cropped the picture for the purpose of this post.

‘Cover’ photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

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2 thoughts on “Your page talks

  1. As with interpersonal first impressions, the trite old axiom is true: “you never get a second chance to make a first impression”.

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