The visual design of your logo, business cards, website and marketing materials are the modern-day storefront of your business.
Potential customers (window shoppers and passers by) see a poorly designed logo as a light-up sign with a few burned out light bulbs. They see a confusing user interface on a website as a disorganized, messy showroom.
When you have a dirty, disorganized and otherwise just plain ugly store, do you expect potential customers to stay and make a purchase or to view your business as a credible, trustworthy establishment? I can guarantee they wont.
There is a lot of research to support the fact that good, professional logo and website design matters.
It only takes viewers 50 milliseconds to form a positive or negative opinion about a website – and ultimately determine to stay or leave. This number comes from Google’s 2012 research on The role of visual complexity and prototypicality regarding first impression of websites.
The key findings from Google’s study are that websites with high prototypicality (e.g. an e-commerce website looks and behaves like most other e-commerce websites) and low visual complexity (i.e. a conventional layout) are more appealing.
Furthermore, it takes just 2.6 seconds for a viewer’s eyes to find the focal point (the area that will most influence their first impression). This is according to eye-tracking studies conducted by Missouri University of Science and Technology.
This research indicates viewers spend the most time (between 5.25 and 6.48 seconds) looking at a website’s logo, main navigation menu, search box, social links, main image, written content and footer.
Based on how quickly viewer’s judge your website and come away with either a positive or negative first impression of your business, it’s become increasingly more important to have a professionally designed website. The same holds true for your logo, business cards and other marketing materials.
Good visual design also shows potential customers that your business is credible.
A study conducted by Stanford University showed that viewers’ assess the credibility of websites based more on their visual design – including user interface, typography, font size, and color palettes – and less on the content. Source.
A similar study looking at trust and credibility of health-related websites showed similar findings. In fact, 94% the feedback given by participants from this study related to the design of these websites, while only 6% regarded the content. Source.
Don’t let your storefront scare potential customers away! Make a good first impression and gain credibility by working with a professional designer to create your logo and website.