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The 5 second rule and its applicability to ux

A brief foray into the “5 second rule” and its applicability in User Experience.
This presentation will brief you in what drives human behaviour and how can we apply a 5 second test to get the best results in terms of ROI to every web page.

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The 5 second rule and its applicability to ux

  1. 1. 5 Second Rule in UX A brief foray into the “5 second rule” and its applicability in User Experience.
  2. 2. What is the “5 second Rule”? • In folklore – It states that “food dropped on the ground will not be significantly contaminated with bacteria if it is picked up within 5 seconds of being dropped”.
  3. 3. What is the “5 second Rule”? • In reality – The texture and moisture inherent to the food dropped dictates the number of bacteria collected. – The floor conditions dictate the number of bacteria collected.
  4. 4. How does the Human Mind Tick?
  5. 5. What our mind pays attention to! • One of the key parts of the brain which focuses attention is the Reticular Activating System (RAS). • RAS is best known as a filter, because it sorts out what is important information that needs to be paid attention to and what is unimportant and can be ignored. • Because it subconsciously monitors all sensory information in the environment around you, it notices any changes in that stimuli.
  6. 6. What does RAS do? • Besides alerting the cerebrum to any changes in the environment, the RAS also sends signals that have to do with: – Physical need. When we’re hungry and we see food, we pay attention. We wake up in the night when we need to go to the bathroom. – Self-made choice. We decided to buy a new BMW 325 and suddenly see them everywhere. This effect is also called priming. – Your name. We notice the name dearest to us. – Emotion. If something evokes an emotion in us, they have our attention. – Contrast. We pay more attention to things that are in contrast to other things. – Novelty. The brain pays more attention to things in the environment that are new to a person’s experience.
  7. 7. What is the relation between the “5 second Rule” and “What the mind pays attention to” with “User Experience”?
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  11. 11. 5 seconds in website User eXperience • The 5 seconds rule is used to increase website conversion and improve ROI via online means. • 5 seconds is more than enough time for a website visitor to determine if there is enough quality in a website to stay, or to leave potentially never to return. • A critical driver of website success is the ability of the web app page, to deliver 3 pieces of critical information in 5 seconds or less: – Who are you? – What product or service do you provide? – Why should I care (what’s in it for Me)?
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  14. 14. Sample With the redesigned version of the Donation content page, users readily recalled the complete set of donation options with only 5 seconds to view the page.
  15. 15. Sample The second version had much more novelty, and hence kept our attention much better
  16. 16. 5 Second Test in UX • A brief introduction to fine tune your landing pages and calls to action by analyzing the most prominent elements of your design
  17. 17. Why do we need a 5 second test • The test is used for evaluating how well the page communicates the purpose and content within.
  18. 18. 5 second test methodology 1. Evaluate which page you would like to test. 2. Capture an image of the page. 3. Identify test participants 4. Conduct the test. 5. Analyze the results. 6. Make recommendations for conversion optimization. Can also make use of sites like –
  19. 19. How to do a 5 second test • “Expose a participant to an image of a webpage for five seconds. The image is then removed and the participant is asked questions about what they remember seeing on the page. The participant can also be asked questions pertaining to the impact of the text and images on the page. ”
  20. 20. What can it give us?  Quantitative and qualitative data on web apps.  Being fast and easily distributable, it can be deployed to dozens, hundreds or even thousands of testers in a matter of hours, or at the most days.  Relatively quick and easy to obtain statistically significant results that can be organized into charts and graphs for analysis.  Takes almost all of the guesswork out of validating if a product is communicating effectively or not, making it easy to develop useful conversion optimization recommendations.  Useful in analyzing exactly how well the product is working in terms of communicating with intended audience.
  21. 21. Hidden gotcha’s • 5-Second Tests Don't Tell Us Everything – The technique is best when we use it on pages designed with a single primary purpose. • The average American sees or hears 3,500 + advertising and marketing messages a day.
  22. 22. Where all have the 5 sec rule been used? • 5 sec’s gap between successive login attempts • 5 sec’s teaser in TV adverts, esply to showcase warnings.. • 5 sec’s blinker ad’s to help navigate through traffic. • Vinod Khosla uses the 5 second rule on the initial pitches from entrepreneurs and on pitches their companies give to prospective customers after he invests in them. • Introduction to video games to hook folks on. • The 3-5-7 rule for Email marketing – 3 seconds to get someone’s attention – 5 seconds to draw them in – 7 seconds to deliver critical information • On all pages which are critical for communicating for a web site or web application.
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  24. 24. Secret Ingredient • Go ahead take risks – experiment with your site. • Use appropriate illustrations coupled with minimal text and make up your case. • Bring in personalization, persuasion, emotion, nostalgia and showcase trust. • Get user attention, interest, desire so as to prompt them to action. • Content is king, so say the right things. • Encourage social media based participation. • Quote, Anecdote, Rhetorical Question!
  25. 25. References • • test/ • / • hold-attention/ • Website visual quality judgments by Lindgaard et. al.…
  26. 26. Some resources • second-tests-an-interview-with-paul- doncaster/
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