Visual design is not my profession and strength, but recently because of work, I kept thinking about this topic. So I might as well explore the factors that determines the quality of a website, hoping to give some feasible design guideline.

What is so important about quality?

Quality can improve credibility and reliability of a website, which then gives your users a good first impression, initial trust.

Ordinary users do not understand user experience, nor colour dimensions, even the quality are not their concern, but they evaluate a website through the first impression.

1. What does this website do?

2. Is this website credible?

3. Is this website professional?

It only takes a few seconds to leave the first impression to the users: is this website worth trying?

Within the few seconds, users certainly not have the time to read the long-winded “about us” article, nor do they bother to experience the interaction process through searching, shopping and registration.

So what affect user decision within seconds?

1. Branding and reputation – you may not find the visual attractive, but if you have enough reputation, e.g. “as seen on TV”, that may help to stay longer.

2. Channels – user may enter a particular website through other sites they know well, for example links in eBay or partnership sites, though the website itself lack of reputation, but through its friend sites, it could affect user decision.

3. Content, also the base – a few seconds, user can skim through and get the idea of what this website does and if it fits what they need. Headlines, bold letters, pictures and price, all are helpful for user to make judgement.

Now in some companies, content and brand strategists are recruited to plan columns and contents.

Edited By Dan Li