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The five-second test in UX

The five-second test provides you with in-depth training on Web. Taught by Chris Nodder as part of t… Show More

User Experience Fundamentals for Web Design

with Chris Nodder

Video: The five-second test in UX

The five-second test provides you with in-depth training on Web. Taught by Chris Nodder as part of the User Experience Fundamentals for Web Design
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  1. 1m 7s
    1. Welcome
      1m 7s
  2. 4m 37s
    1. Building a site for your visitors
      1m 29s
    2. Understanding how people browse the web
    3. It's all about information
    4. What causes people to leave sites?
      1m 35s
  3. 3m 50s
    1. Simple design
      1m 9s
    2. Consistent design
      1m 11s
    3. Standard design
      1m 30s
  4. 20m 55s
    1. Elements of navigation
      1m 21s
    2. Content has a structure
      2m 18s
    3. Understanding menus
      3m 19s
    4. Reviewing some menu myths
      2m 4s
    5. Working with site maps
      1m 5s
    6. Adding search to your site
      2m 53s
    7. Understanding links
      3m 43s
    8. Exploring clickable elements
      1m 18s
    9. Understanding Fitts's Law
      2m 54s
  5. 11m 19s
    1. People can begin from any page on your site
      1m 24s
    2. Elements every web page should have
      3m 25s
    3. Creating progressive navigation
      3m 22s
    4. Arranging your content
      3m 8s
  6. 8m 7s
    1. How people read on the web
      2m 31s
    2. Writing for information exchange
      1m 43s
    3. Formatting pages for information exchange
      3m 53s
  7. 7m 21s
    1. Using your homepage as a site summary
      1m 50s
    2. Creating fresh content
      1m 20s
    3. Displaying navigation and search
      1m 25s
    4. The five-second test
      2m 46s
  8. 8m 8s
    1. Showing people what you've got
      3m 50s
    2. Making comparisons easy
      1m 24s
    3. Creating landing pages from ad campaigns
      2m 54s
  9. 11m 22s
    1. The real purpose of detail and product pages
      1m 16s
    2. Writing descriptive text
      2m 4s
    3. Using images to set context
      2m 17s
    4. Showing the price for products
      2m 27s
    5. Have a call to action
      1m 36s
    6. About Us: a special detail page
      1m 42s
  10. 10m 58s
    1. Ask for information in context
      2m 25s
    2. Making forms as painless as possible
      2m 34s
    3. Creating form fields
      3m 37s
    4. Handling errors gracefully
      2m 22s
  11. 9m 9s
    1. Using different types of media
      1m 55s
    2. Simple question: Does it enhance the experience?
      2m 15s
    3. Using graphics for explanation, not decoration
      1m 17s
    4. What is interactive content?
      1m 58s
    5. Laying out your page for media
      1m 44s
  12. 5m 3s
    1. Making money without selling out
      1m 37s
    2. Adding graphical ads
      2m 10s
    3. Creating text ads
      1m 16s
  13. 3m 42s
    1. Simple, consistent, and standard design
      2m 4s
    2. Consider your users and you'll be fine
      1m 38s
  14. 1m 31s
    1. More resources
      1m 31s

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The five-second test
Video Duration: 2m 46s 1h 47m Beginner


The five-second test provides you with in-depth training on Web. Taught by Chris Nodder as part of the User Experience Fundamentals for Web Design

View Course Description

Discover how to create a user experience that embodies utility, ease of use, and efficiency by identifying what people want from websites, how they search for information, and how to structure your content to take advantage of this. In this course, author Chris Nodder shows how to merge engineering, marketing, graphical and industrial design, and interface design to create a website that meets the needs of your customer, and is simple, elegant, and engaging. The course shows how to use graphics to help rather than hinder visitors, balance advertising and content, and integrate video, audio, and other media. Other tutorials consider the landing page experience and elements like contact forms from the visitor's perspective.

Topics include:
  • Applying simple, consistent, and standard design principles
  • Tailoring your menus, site map, and links for visitors
  • Understanding progressive navigation
  • Formatting page for information exchange
  • Understanding the importance of the homepage
  • Creating compelling category and landing pages
  • Showing the price for products
  • Having a call to action
  • Asking for information on forms
  • Using media to tell your story
  • Earning ad revenue without discrediting your site

The five-second test

If you're not careful, Homepages can get cluttered quickly and that clutter can lead to confusion. In large organizations everyone thinks that their content should have a place on the Homepage. Even smaller companies think it's important to tell people everything they do right from the start. In Chapter 2, we talked about simple design. And your Homepage is one of the most important places to enforce this rule. The Homepage isn't the place to tell users everything they can do on your site; instead, it's the place to set their research in motion. A good rule of thumb is that visitors seeing your Homepage for the first time should be able to say generally what the site is about after seeing it for just five seconds.

Five seconds might not seem like very long, but it's typically as much time as it takes for people to form an impression of a site in their heads, and either decide to keep reading or hit the Back button. How much stuff can people take in during that five second period? Not very much. To demonstrate what I'm saying, let's try a five second test now. I'm going to show you a page for just five seconds, look carefully at it and then decide what the site is about. Are you ready? Let's start now. And we are done.

That was five seconds. Now tell me, what was this site about? What subtopics did it cover? What was the key call to action? What else did you remember about the page? More to the point, did you get a good enough sense to know whether you wanted to carry on working with it? Even if you don't recall that much about the site's contents, you probably managed to form an impression about whether you wanted to keep going or to back out? Because people make these snap decisions, it makes sense to test whether your Homepage gets its primary message across in that short time.

It's easy enough to do; all you need are some people who meet the criteria of your personas and the printout of the part of their Homepage that would appear on the average screen. Now, make a cover sheet that you pull back in place over the page after five seconds. After people have seen the page for five seconds, ask one of these questions. "What do you remember about this page?" This tells you what message has come across most clearly. Or "What is this site about?" This tells you whether your Homepage has a clear overall message. If you want to get fancy, you can use online tools, such as or to automate the process, and then recruit participants online to send to the test page.

When you get the results, you can compare them to your intentions. You know what you want the site to say to people, on what tasks you want to showcase to them. Now, you can tell whether you Homepage design gets those key points across, well enough for people to stay on your site and dive in further or whether they are confused and likely to leave.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about User Experience Fundamentals for Web Design .

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Q: How were the graphics for this course put together?
A: The graphics are drawn in house at by a graphic designer and then animated with Adobe After Effects. It is possible to get a similar effect using PowerPoint.





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