Don’t Get Crowned by the Halo Effect
It should go without saying that you want to leave your website’s visitors with a good first impression of your products or services. Of course you do. A good first impression can lift you to a level above your competitors, bringing customers coming back to your site again and again, directly leading to sales. On the other hand, an overall bad user experience can lead to the opposite outcome, making clients reluctant to work with you and customers unlikely to buy your products.
These snap judgments are part of what’s called the halo effect. You were probably familiar with the halo effect without knowing what it was called, but you might not have realized the extent to which it mattered to your brand.
What is the Halo Effect?
The halo effect is a cognitive bias in which a person makes an overall judgment based on just one trait or experience. It’s a snap judgment that leads to either positive or negative biases. For example, a tall, clean-shaven and handsome man will most often be viewed at first blush as trustworthy and honest, even if he isn’t. This works both ways, though: an aspect viewed negative at first will lead to an overall negative perception of a person.
First studied in an effort to understand the way one person views another, the halo effect also pertains to locations, organizations, products, and, more to the point, websites.
How Is Your Website Impacting Your Brand?
A good first impression is critical when it comes to websites. As you can gather from the image above, users browsing your website can be discerning and awfully judgmental. The vast majority of people surfing the Internet determine the credibility of a company simply off of an initial reaction. The online community immediately decides whether the services or products will equal the aesthetics and usability of a particular website. A hard-to-use search bar, ugly or jumbled visuals, and broken links will turn them away while clean designs, clear text, and uncomplicated functions will invite them to hang around, browse, or work with you.
According to a study performed by the Nielsen Norman Group, the halo effect determines future reactions, as well. This means that a bad experience will leave users reluctant to work with you again even if you redesign your website. And users don’t really abide by a long logical reasoning process, either. The halo effect allows for snap judgments based on one quality of your website. In other words, you need to get it right the first time.
Make a Good Impression
You know that an overwhelming majority of B2B customers will compare many websites, so you’re constantly being pitted against your competitors. You know that you have mere seconds to prove that your brand is credible. You know that the design and flow of your website will immediately leave impressions, either good or bad, on users. So remember the halo effect and make sure you’re leaving them with a good one.
Check some of our clients’ websites in our portfolio. The landing page is always clear and easy to read. Better yet, it’s always visually attractive, because design matters. We created straightforward, yet stunning websites for them. Get in touch. We’d love to do the same for you.