It’s funny how fast people can decide on things. People can see a website redesign and love it or hate it right away. It might take someone 15 seconds of seeing it before they are furiously writing up a comment one way or another.
I had a micro example of this with the recent AnythingZoomer plugin I did. Like a lot of the stuff I do around here, it’s one part proof-of-concept, one part good-excuse-for-a-tutorial, and hopefully, one part useful. Also as is typical around here, the comments were overwhelmingly positive (you guys are just cool like that). But there was a decent amount of comments here and elsewhere that basically amounted to “This is stupid. Where would this ever be useful?” I’m not afraid of criticism. That’s not what this is about. I’m interested in this ultra-quick visceral decision making that happens, and the implications of it.
I’m reminded of this great Veerle Pieters quote (archived at Quotes on Design):
I’m always surprised by the speed that people judge a site. They’ve seen it for a few seconds, and already an opinion has been formed. When I look at a design of a site, I don’t immediately vent an opinion, but I take it all in slowly and start to think of what could have been on the mind of the designer.
I love this ultra-rational attitude, and it can definitely be extended beyond reactions to design. For example, have you ever gone to a movie with a friend and they asked you as soon as you walk out of the theater if you liked the movie or not? You probably have some idea. I mean if you were sitting there laughing the whole time you probably liked it (assuming it was a comedy). Typically though, at least for me, it takes some time to be able to answer that question. I need to let the movie sink in and for my mind to process all my feelings about it before I’m ready to throw out judgments.
So what is the matter with this culture of instant-decision-making? I’m not sure. Maybe nothing, maybe everything. I worry mostly about the individuals. When you vocalize your opinion, you not only are trying to share it with others but you are convincing yourself. You can’t wake up in the morning and tell your friend that now you loved the movie, even though you said you hated it when you left the theater. You sound crazy or at best emotionally unreliable. But a flip-flop like that is unlikely anyway, as since you’ve vocalized your opinion you’ve likely spent most of your time coming up with strong arguments in favor of your opinion, rather than thinking about things with an open mind.
This post is open for rational discussion =)
You put in words what I feel :)
Great post; I feel the same way. BTW love the new comment form
Being a teacher as well as a designer, I can appreciate a well-thought out and well designed site.
My experience has been “designers” tend to make nice looking sites that don’t function well and the hard-core “coders” create sites that function so well, but tend to not be so visually appealing. A great combination of both will always get my attention. Your site Chris, is outstanding in both areas!
I also watch a great movie and spend more time trying to figure out how they did that, then enjoy it for it is. So what do i know.
This is a great comment! Very few people are left and right-brained enough to make sure a site is beautiful andfunctional at the same time. This site is an example of having both, and that is a really, really hard thing to pull off.
Unless your Corpus Callosum is damaged, enjoying an object or experience engages both hemispheres of the brain. Beauty is itself functional: it draws the user into the experience and enhances it. This has been studied thoroughly in behavioral and cognitive psychology (see Arielly, Csikszentmihalyi and others). When you look at it rationally, art/design is just the science of evoking emotions, thoughts and actions through engineered sensory stimuli.
You’ve just read my mind, sure I may not be the greatest php/js coder but I still try to make my own site functional, and try to restraint from making anything over-designed.
When I see someone that is great in some dynamic language but with no design (or a minimal badly-coded one) I really kinda feel sad on the inside. I don’t want to get mad, because learning things is not easy but those who wish not to can’t consider themselves great web designers unless they work with someone else.
When I go to a movie, I usually need the whole trip home to form my opinion about it, and with my friends, we give a x/10 rating :)
With designs, however, I usually judge it immedeately. Then, after I’ve made my judgement, I take a closer look and dissect the design to decide whether my opinion was right or not.
@brian reese, I share your opinion on the “designers” and “coders” :) to be good, you need to be a hybrid :)
A general rule of thumb is that your design should appeal to the audience it targets… If the majority of your audience is inclined to make rapid judgments, then the design should appeal to that crowd.
It would be great if you could persuade your audience to think a little more rationally, and see the deeper meaning behind a design, but it’s pretty unlikely to happen.
Sometimes you just have to take the practical approach…
You’re absolutely right on the money Chris. Unfortunate as it may be, I’ve noticed a growing trend the last few years where people instantly need to voice an opinion on whatever the topic, be it design, movies, articles, etc. Its the instant feedback and somewhat attention that part of that collective craves. In the web community, particularly on forums, you have those that post “First” and might bash or be generous on something as soon as possible, simply to have their comments appear toward the beginning where others would have to read them. I am an avid movie-watcher, but even after a few days of interpreting deeper movies, I still can’t fully give an opinion on whether it was “good”. To each person, that’s going to be different. I can say whether or not I enjoyed something, but even then I don’t share the same tastes as others.
Sorry, Im starting to ramble on. Needless to say, I think its mostly to do with being a generation and part of a society that is enticed by instant gratification. We want it now, up to the second. Why do we have twitter texts sent to our phones, and RSS feeds and the like? So that we know instantly what’s happening and can take part in the conversation.
I think it’s the medium of “blogs” that may be the things that gives rise to this culture of “immediate” opinions. Blog posts are here and then they are gone, forgotten by both writer and commentor, for better or worse. If you don’t comment right now, this instant, you’ll be talking into an echo chamber.
The forum culture killed the “stop and think about it”.
Its also a trend with the busy, everything changing techno age, with kids growing up to make on the spot decisons.
Its a hard one. However as a coder AND a designer… trying to make a decision on what to do for my own web site…. damn near impossible. I have hundreds on the cutting room floor….
Perhaps a lesson in stop prevaricating may also be a valid one.
Just wanted to say I totally agree with these comments, and like you Kali, I am stuck at the moment thinking about what to create for my own portfolio. Seems everything I think of has been done and everything I would like to do can’t be done without hiring in external flash animators! LOL
As for your slider effect Chris, I like it very much, and to say where would you use it, well I am actually considering using it as my site layout now…
I strongly disagree… and I knew it instantly! ;)
Well, really only with one part, about this being a recent development, a societal construct, a product of the go-go 90s. The ability to make rapid decisions is integral to a species survival, from a purely evolutionary standpoint. Rapid decision making (some might call it “instinct”) in the face of danger is what keeps animals alive. A counterpoint is the modern guinea pig, an animal wholly dependent on its domestication for survival, whose primary response to modest danger or stress is to hyperventilate – even kill itself with shock. It’s the epitome of being paralyzed at a decision point, and not wholly unlike your average IE6 user (ding!).
From a more contemporary standpoint, humans rapidly responding to what their senses perceive isn’t a response to information overload, it’s simply a manifestation. A very convenient one, I might add. I’m a fairly rational guy, just like all the rest of us, but if I spent 20 minutes guessing at all possible endpoints at every decision I’d never do anything or go anywhere – I’d hyperventilate.
We have varying capacities for actually absorbing the litany of things we’re exposed to on any given day, but in general people are good at remembering the important stuff. Our job as communicators is to focus attention on just what that important stuff actually is, and it’s the audience’s job to make rapid decisions about whether or not the designer is jerking them around with overhyped importance. Don’t cry wolf, don’t blink your banner ads.
Now I’m the one who’s rambling, but in short – aint nuthin’ new here.
I like this point of that fast decision making is what allows us to get done all that we need to get done in a day.
That’s a stopper right there, but I think the problem is the word “hate.” I know it’s one of those hate vs. dislike usage things, but it’s true and you can’t really hate something without getting a taste of it.
A site might be the answer to all your problems if you looked around, but saying you hate it won’t help you at all. If you’re searching for an answer, an open mind will help you find it.
I also like the new comment box’s first reminder!
I completely agree with the needing to take time to analyze something thoroughly before making a decision. (Although it hasn’t always been what I practice…)
Honestly, that’s the one of the things that bothers me the most about the classroom. Teachers and other students expect you to make your decisions in a matter of seconds usually, instead of allowing you time to think things over. Most of the time, if you answer “I don’t know yet” to a teacher, they will think negatively of that response. Anyone else have that problem? Its especially evident in classes that revolve around open discussion, and it makes me frustrated.
The gut reaction is something I think a lot people have trouble with. It’s the same thing as learning to count to 10 (or 1000 for some people) when you’re angry. It’s acting without thinking and I think it’s great when people can apply these regular-life lessons to any situation; even if they’re not so extreme as yelling at someone, just holding back your initial reaction to something.
I dunno, I think it’s really good to mull over something for at least 5 or 10 mins. before we respond. I wonder if we can incorporate that into a client meeting.
I hope that was coherent.
p.s. I hate when people ask me how a movie was right after it. I do like to take about some favorite scenes for a little while to remind myself what I thought about it at the time though.
This reminds me of this quote:
It takes a long time and real self understanding to *truly* know what you like and don’t like.
So maybe if people do spend a bit of time deciding things, the conclusion is just as arbitrary.
I was thinking of Gladwell’s book (Blink, I’m guessing) where he argues for the power of the instant appraisal. He has several compelling examples of where this works amazingly well (as any such book should) but I think the key is not so much the speed of the opinion but the weight of experience behind it.
Stinging criticism from people with a limited view of the (web) world hardly matters; negative reviews from respected piers is what hurts, no matter how long they thought about it.
p.s. I usually like to mentally review a complex movie before I can discuss it. But for others… Let’s just say I hated Titanic before the best portrayed character (the iceberg) showed up.
Some interesting thoughts here Chris.
Have you read Malcom Gladwell’s book “Blink”? It’s a discussion of this very topic..rapid cognition. Thinking that happens in an instant.
He argues, convincingly so, that often the first impression that we come to in that first few seconds can be extremely accurate. (Though I’m certainly not saying that comments about AnythingZoomer being useless were justified, nor correct.)
Ultimately I think often there is power in that first impression, though I’ll admit that particularly when it comes to topics like new technologies and tools, I’d rather gather a fair amount of information before ultimately settling on an opinion.
Anyway, if you haven’t given the book a read, I do recommend it. Even if you end up not agreeing with everything he has to say on the topic, it does raise some very interesting points.
I think the internet gives people the opportunity to voice their opinion without any consequence and this, one way or another, will lead to people doing the same in everyday life.
The real shame is, as you said, when people say something but then later change their but can’t voice the new opinion because they acted so strongly initially.
On the other hand web design is a little bit like art, you either love a design or not.
Anyway who cares? No one gets hurt and there are tonnes of people (myself included) who love your work and appreciate you helping everyone out with tutorials and tips :-)
Nice Comment form and I like the new design of the site. I didn’t care for the previous version at all but this one looks good.
I disagree with you about almost all of this post. When I see a movie I have a solid defendable opinion formed by the time I get to the lobby. There have been cases where I’ve changed my mind and I’m not afraid to say so. Most people I go see movies with feel the same way.
Maybe it takes you time as a designer to judge a site but for me it’s just like judging anything else. I don’t need to consider for hours whether or not a meal tasted good. I can decide whether or not I think a woman is pretty in seconds.
If you need time to think things over that’s fine, but don’t assume that everyone does.
I think people are starting to come to their conclusions quickly as if it’s all just a comment on a blog post or something–you gloss over the content, the design, the idea whatever the case may be, and then click the “thumbs up” or “thumbs down” button and move on to the next one.
People are spending less time carefully forming opinions, and more time justifying them.
Right, that’s my main point really. As soon as you’ve “decided” then your brain kind of locks that in and starts defending your position instead of staying objective.
I do agree with you to a certain degree. Some people just tend to make decisions about things without even giving themselves a chance to think about it. I don’t however, agree with the hate it and love it things. Hate and love are two extremes on the same scale. For example, if you see a movie and you hate it, you’ll probably figure that out before the movie ends. You don’t need time to let something sink in if you already feel so strongly about it.
At least that’s my opinion.
Awesome article specially to be wiser than the client in his decision process, altough i wouldnt recommend tell him, right away that they dont have the knowledge to decide yet!!!! hahaha, It more of a sublte wise way of feeling in advance of their decision…. wow i guess i confused myself…
anyway i admire your thinking process!
Yes, for the designer, a co-designer’s comments may be very important. They may help the designer make critical improvements.
But the ultimate test is, “so you’ve already decided” (i.e., the average visitor, the viewing public, the audience for whom the website is intended), ¿qué no?
If you don’t capture your visitor RIGHT OFF THE BAT and they “decide already” not to stay on your page, then all your careful and clever design work is for naught.
People want to have a say today, and they want it immediately. What the problem is, when you always rate things like designs, women, books and movies at once, is, that your mind cannot grow with it.
Does this have anything to do with design? Not really.
For me as a writer of novels I can say that the attitude of people changes the way of writing very much, because my readers don’t want to think about the story when they have finished the book, the want to go to Amazon and rate it. And if one or two details do not fit their taste, they tell other people, the book is a piece of shit. Same thing with the AnythingZoomer. If one cannot figure out what to do with it just in the moment of reading the anythingZommer sucks, of course.
When I read about the ability of CSS3 to make drop shadows on text I thought, what the hell of WordArt is this. Some weeks later I discovered that a drop shadow of 100px on a text of 16px is a wonderfull spotlight.
And if you look at today’s webdesign: Designer avoid everything that could make their visitors impatient. That results in a standard blog design, we have today.
PS: The AnythingZoomer is very good. I really want to use it on my website. Long texts and photos with details are really waiting for the AnythingZoomer. Please solve the dubble content problem inside AZ (when applied on text).
Don’t be discouraged by comment fields anywhere on the net. I learned long ago that when people speak on condition of anonymity they’re less inclined to even put a shred of thought into their words. Just look at youtube…possibly the dumbest place on earth.
Keep up the good work.
Whoa, this new comment box ROCKS!
I’ve noticed the same thing about people – that once they’ve vocalized an opinion or stance on something, their future related ideas become an attempt to prove their side, rather than an attempt to find the truth.
It is this basic part of human nature that leads me to always try to disprove my own conclusions, since that is the only real way to objectively study something – you have to try to unravel your own arguments like it’s your job.
I think visual things are instant, but I dont necessarily let that visual impression affect my over all opinion of something or someone. Either I like what I see or I dont, but I am always willing to look deeper.
I think something can be ugly and brilliant, or stupid and beautiful. The real question is weather you are willing to over look something that may not be visually stunning even though it is brilliantly crafted, and if you do are you missing a critical aspect of what makes that thing or person so special.
Totally useful idea, by the way. I first saw it on the endless.com site that sells shoes. Very good for ecommerce.
This article is stupid.
Oooh, love the new comment form. What were we talking about? Oh yeah.
I make some quick judgments and some slow. In rough order:
Is there content I’m interested in?
If it passes that bar, can I read, navigate, use the site easily?
Do the visuals – colors, images, layout – make me feel good and complement the content, or do they distract me too much or turn me off? Yes, this is totally subjective, but it counts! And my feelings aren’t likely to change after my initial impressions.
I make those good/bad judgments pretty quickly.
If the site gets this far, and I become a repeat visitor, then the last question is: is this site design just good, or is it really great? So easy to use I don’t think about the mechanics, and so pleasant I want to spend more time on the site?
That would be your sites, Mr. Coyier!
Please note that I don’t claim that I can make good web designs! ;)
I find the same thing, in regards to people making their first impressions within seconds.
This is why i think it is so important to reduce the file sizes of images and use big images sparingly, simply because if a new visitor comes to your site and its image heavy they will soon press the back button in their browser because they have been waiting too long.
I was stunned to see a “geek” site have a loading bar on the screen before their content was loaded! This is a huge waste of time and resources and I think your post kinda fits in with my thoughts on this.
Keep images to a minimum, or keep file size as small as possible if images are to be used. Try and make a smaller image repeat to keep the site loading quick, and use your php or asp code efficiently.
Nate took my idea. :)
I think the problem is somwhat centered in this becoming overloaded from looking at designs for too long.
for example, I have noticed that when you go to an art museum, the first few pieces of art are amazing, then you find another that you like, which is similar, then before you know it, you’ve seen hundreds of paintings, and you no longer smile, or they don’t seem remarkable at all even though you know they are some of the finest art in the world, to you they eventuality become flat out boring.
I think the same thing happens with customers, many times I show them designs to figure out what they like. Before too long beautifully designed websites look normal, so that they can’t be satisfied by anything, short of a miracle and they also decide much quicker and know almost instantly that it’s not “amazing”
dangit, this comment has turned into a mini blog post =p.
There’s a lot of idiots out there. Sadly enough, sometimes the internet makes me lose confidence in humanity. :-\ Especially when ( and I know this is slightly off-topic ) when I’m playing on Xbox live… Some people are joking around and it’s funny, other people are complete morons. What can you do but just keep on truckin’.
As I’m sure you’re aware, the more popular you become Chris, the more idiots you will also attract. And I don’t mean just not intelligent people, I mean actual morons. The whole “hide behind the computer screen”… I disagree. If people are moron’s on the internet, they are more then likely a moron in “real life” wether they make it extremely apparent or are a closet moron.
That’s the human mind.
The “thinking mind” is just 2% of the tip of the vastly superior “sub-conscious” mind.
The thinking mind is inadequate. Most of our decisions are made by the sub-conscious mind … which has a vast amount of data and speed to work from.
If you really study your thinking process, most of the decisions are already made. You just think that you consciously made the decision.
That’s pretty interesting…
I am guilty of forming quick opinions on websites myself. For example, when gmail changed its classic theme, my first reaction was “Why?!?”, but since then, the new interface has grown on me and now I prefer it to the old one.
Great post, great quato
Hmm, I hope I understood everything (or most of it) of what you were saying…so here is my opinon:
1) Yes,the first quess comes from your emotions and that is ether “I like it” or “I dont like it”.
2) On the otherhand, your right: If someone dont “konw” design or dont “know” what differs this from that design, he has no clue whats happening.
It’s a bit like looking on a picture. Have u ever been to an art gallery with some historian art teacher guide? If they start to talk, they hardly ever stop. They know why Vermeer was one of the famous painter of his era, what (might) have drove Picasso to paint “Guernica” ect..
So what does u drove to use a “dropshaddow” for your font ect.. -its a design-decision, the more u know about design, art ect. the more u want to have a abstact form of it.
And people which dont know the basics of design wont feel (or understand) anything what u do they are rather sattified with chewing gum.
..But there are some designs which dont need “exploration” because they have power right away and thats what everybody (or most of the people -unless disabled-people) can feel right away.
I recommend everyone hear read the book, Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking by Malcolm Gladwell.
It talks about the human brains ability to come to the conclusion of something in a fraction of a section.
The fact of the matter is that people will always have first instincts.
To be honest, I think only designers can really appreciate the web designer efforts.
Second recommendation for this one. Excellent book and gives very good insight on how people make decisions even when they are not knowing it themselfs.
Digging deeper on the subject: I think people – or should I say their minds – have an urgency to label and judge things (unconsciously) because that strengthens your own identity – at least from your ego’s perspective. The opinion rarely forms purely on about how the viewer feels about the subject NOW, but more often the opinion is derived from somewhere the viewers personal and mankind’s cumulative past.
I hate it! lol. Nah I think you are totally right, but to be honest the people that immediately judge sites in the way that you describe are usually narrow-minded and incompetent people.
If you don’t have the simple ability to wait before judging you’re ideas aren’t valid anyway.
Getting a skin feeling of a website is, well, inevitable. A good design must generate positive skin feelings AND lasting appreciation. Despite the 37signals’s praise of Jakob Nielsen’s website, that site looks like a punch in the eye to me, and I won’t bother inquiring further. Then of course I might be forced to deal with the website, and appreciate its depth, but most people don’t get this chance.
Also, I don’t think that forming an opinion implies shutting off other options. Opinions are as readily eliminated as they are readily made. The web is not a book, it is a conversation. A conversation is much more fast paced than a a book; if one bothers to write down a conversation and analyze its transcript (there’s a discipline called discourse analysis doing this) you’ll see that people contradict themselves constantly, affirming things and denying them later, all for the sake of conversation.
I completely disagree with this post. It’s stupid. I’m never coming back.
In all seriousness though, I think it’s a sign of the times, people are in such a rush, so many things to read and do, a snap decision is often the result. Nice post though :)
I’m wondering how many people posted their reaction right away, not taking in the advice that comes from your post.
Here is my -after a 2 minute pause- opinion:
– people get instant media notifications of everything. There is no time to react later. It kind of comes down to (like you said) act now or get lost in the echo.
– people get the feeling of importants/individualism/connection/socializing and therefor comment to comment
– liking nowadays (with the speed of everything) is more ‘filling in expectations’ than really liking it. Imagine a 3 star movie. If you where expecting only a 1,5 maybe 2 star you’ll love it. If you’re looking for a 4,5 star movie you’ll be highly disappointed.
So what I’m really trying to say is people feel the need to react and react now, no time to think. If you (the blogger) lived up to expectations you’ll score otherwise get dissed. I guess you create high expectations!
Anyhow I always try not to report a negative feeling on my side. But if it’s an important improvement I send it with all my love, literally.
Love your work man !
I too am reading Blink at the moment, and the arguments it puts forward make a lot of sense. They’re also backed up by significant evidence from other sources.
Like it or not, you make a snap decision on everything. Even if you think you don’t, you do. Even if you think it takes hours or days to make a judgement, you’re only catching up with what your brain decided in the first few seconds of you considering the question or situation.
However, let’s not forget that this snap descision is based on all your experiences up to that point. It’s based on all your previous decisions and the outcomes of those decisions.
It’s not that snap decisions are flippant – they’re informed and considered.
You just did the thinking before you were asked the question ;)
I do not think that what you are describing can be considered as quick decision making. I think I’d call it first impression.
And, impressions are not set in stone, they are meant to grow.
If you say that you liked a movie while I did not – well, then I guess we have different opinions. We can still talk about it, I will try to convince you that I am right, and you will try to convince me that I am not. I might change my mind or not (depending on your arguments, my previous experiences, my culture, etc… )
The same goes for a desing you’ve made or a plugin you’ve developped. People don’t like it? Fine. Ask them why they don’t like it. They might give you persuasive arguments (or not) and you might end up having a constructive discussion (or not). But who knows? They might convince you that they are right, or you might convince them that they are wrong.
I agree very much with your take on this.
I too worry about the inner reality of people that think they can afford to lose their objectivity by being so certain about something. Whatever area we do this in we give up the space to consider and turn it into something we can learn from.
In addition sometimes these same people also forget their manners sometimes as well.
If someone has a strong opinion thats cool, in fact often its good for the conversation as long as it IS backed up by some real world experience.
Keep going making great, honest, clear content Chris.
One word – anonymity. Remove that, and you remove 99% of the jerk-like comments. Unfortunately, remove that, and you also remove 90% of the good comments because people like not to be “seen”. It’s a simple concept. For the good and for the bad.
Chris, great article… you almost read our minds!
Yes, very true… reading through comments on many articles pointing to new findings, I’ve felt that people criticize with sarcasm, which may even de-motivate the author, punishing him/her for thinking out-of-the box! .
Instead why don’t we constructively criticize by challenging the author with more scenarios as:
“Will it work if….?” or “Can I get… out of this?”
Just ask Facebook how they feel about users making snap judgments on design changes…
Some people just don’t like new or different things, and aren’t willing to spend a few minutes to really analyze what it is, why it is, and how it functions. All 3 are important to web design (and design in general).
Typically, we call these people “clients”. It is up to us to explain the 3 things above, and hold their hand through the process of change. :-)
There is no “culture of instant-decision-making” since this decision making is innate and not learned. What designers and artists such as film directors do is to provoke and stimulate audiences to make them laugh, cry, scream or just enjoy using the product and services they buy. Design is commercial art, and both design and art are, on a good day, akin to engineering. The artist/designer/engineer uses her knowledge (or intuitive grasp) of psychology, sociology, physics, bio-mechanics etc. to create the desired effect on the user/audience.
That said, clients hardly ever see design as science, and come up with such gems as: “I don’t like red, therefore my customers won’t like it either” or “My daughter’s name is Violet, so that should be the color of the new power drill we’re selling”. Designers can either give in to this or they can educate themselves and their clients on the rational reasons for all their design choices. If you can’t stand behind every design choice, don’t expect to sell it to a snap-judging client.
Wow! Honestly, I hadn’t thought of that. But you’re so right. What do we do now?
This made me think of Edward de Bono’s famous “6 Thinking Hats”. When I first discovered that way of approaching problem solving (or just “thinking”) I found it incredibly powerful and it really made me realise how inefficient the confrontational debate style can be. Essentially, everyone works together to in turn come up with positives, negatives, crazy creative reactions, gut feelings etc etc. More here.
Just wanted to say that I appreciate all the tutorials you provide this community. I can’t agree more with you on the “haters”, your synopsis of their mentality was very examined & stated!
I think it depends on whether you are critiquing the site, browsing through trying to be aware of anomalies, or if you actually see the site.
Way back in the day, your neighbor might have a new tractor or horse in the field. You mosey along, note the addition, you look it over. You note the field implement, notice how hard the tractor/horse is working, look for features and proportions. You congratulate the neighbor on the addition, and in the course of 10 or 20 minutes decide if the choice made sense. Traveling by car, it might be 5 minutes or 20 before you see another tractor, let alone another new tractor.
Web sites are everywhere. So are designs. The visitors to a site that actually look at and experience the site as a personal experience are relatively few. Most take it all in, since like many sites they will likely spend a minute or less, and decide if they like it or not.
A few visitors might notice a feature that catches their eye – like the eye-catching icons on the Leave Comment text boxes here! Or they might notice a subtle difference in implementation, and be curious about the aesthetics, the performance, or the strategy, and spend a few minutes “kicking the tires”.
Some visitors will engage with the content, and never notice the design and features that don’t actually get in their way.
I think it is the sheer plethora of web sites the average visitor encounters in an online excursion that leads, necessarily, to snap decisions about designs that appeal or raise concerns about getting in the way.
One aspect of this that I didn’t notice being discussed, is about bad implementations. Take a visually distinctive design feature on some random web site, but with a bug in the implementation. There must be some risk that some visitors to that site will for a very long time (in internet design cycle times) associate the flaw in implementation on that site, with that design feature where ever found. Most of us accumulate a list of “probably bad” encounters, and rarely consider removing items from that list. Which means that getting things working correctly on innovative designs is a service owed to the design community, as well as to the visitor.
I read this article 15 seconds ago…it’s awesome!
This is the most stupid thing I’ve ever heard…lol, Just kidding, great post.
Good observations, it’s funny really my instant reaction to the the AnythingZoomer was ‘wow this is great!’ and then after a few minutes of thinking, it was more, ‘i can’t really think of a good use for this at the minute.
If Anything, my reaction was that the opposite, but equally an example of ultra-quick visceral decision making.
I think there is just to much input for people these days, like News Feeds, Blogs, Video Sites and so on and some people start treating this like a product on an assembly belt (hope thats the right word ^^). They have no time to loose cause the next big thing could wait in the next News/Feed/…
“Ah what´s this, AnythingZoomer, I´ve already seen that somewhere else … crap”
I just don´t know why this guys even post a comment.
Soo, goodbye, next news/post is waiting for me … ;-)
Greetz from Germany
Love the new comment box. Glad you decided to do it.
Great post. This is something I alwais thik about.
My process to jugde design is sloly but when I will judg something I don’t have much known i just see it’s if good or not for me and this process is fast.
I think it’s just a result of it being so EASY to voice an opinion online. It only takes a few seconds, so consequently, people just blurt out the first thing they think of and post it.
I could spend 30 minutes coming up with a thoughtful comment, while the next guy can just spit out something in 4 seconds – and both responses are sort of “weighted” the same, because they both just show up one right after the other.
Also, being fairly anonymous on the Internet, you don’t really have to be held responsible for your own words. So I think these things combined lead to people making really rash comments on something – there’s little incentive to bother thinking things through.
Retards need longer to make a decision; I think it’s because the synapses in the brain take longer to transmit electrical impulses.
The rest of us can decide if we like something fairly quickly. This helps in most real world situations, like when picking up a knife by the blade, or having hot coffee thrown in our faces.
You’ll notice that most people who take a long time to decide if they like something are missing fingers and have horrible 3rd degree burn scars.
Unfortunately for me, as an example i dont like dark backgrounds which can lead to me simply not using what can otherwise be an awesome website, if an owner of a site was to ask me why im not returning to the site i would have to tell them that my decision was pretty quick.
In these cases though im not deciding too quickly that i dont like a site but rather my eyes tell my brain that this dark background wont do which leads to me having to decide that a design is not for me, even though the reality is not the design itself but simply the color.
Im forever telling people on a forum that im “not keen on the dark background” when they ask for a review of their sites :)
I love this post – LOL
I’m one of those people that makes snap decisions about whether I like something or not, although I admit, sometimes I can’t immediately explain why. I put it down to experience.
If you’ve looked at many (eg. websites) and taken the time to consider the pros and the cons, I think you get faster at making that overall decision.
Not only that, you develop an automatic mental checklist that you can quickly assess things by, and the checklist will be different for different types of and for different people. For a website, your key criteria might be: readability, ease of use and logical/familiar layout – if these aren’t met, you can quickly decide you don’t like it.
If you have a more complex analysis process, it will take longer to make a conclusion. Just like a computer really.
First of all, great website. Just discovered it a few days ago, and I’ve found a lot of interesting posts :)
Now for this particular post : sometimes you hate (or love) something (be it a website design, someone, a movie, etc.) without being able to describe / explain why. Liking / Hating is not always rational :)
Oops, sorry for the reply … first comment, I meant to comment the post, not your words, Melissa :)
I would imagine that the quicker the decision, the smaller the scale. I don’t necessarily think people intensely love or hate something having only had little time to really consider how they feel about it. In fact, in this instance, the words ‘love’ and ‘hate’ are reduced to simple signifiers, used as a means for people to articulate whether they are for or against something.
I hate it when I ramble.