The Three Second Rule
Engaging your audience online is increasingly challenging. Today when your brand wishes to create a web property you are automatically competing with expectations. Your audience spends hours a month on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest to name a few. It's imperative that we are competing like crazy for their eyeballs on your website. You have only three seconds to establish an emotional impression from the instant your page loads to the browser. During that first three seconds your audience will formulate a decision as to whether or not they will invest in the next three seconds.
Within those first three seconds, the user will not begin reading or clicking. They are simply responding to design. They take in color, type treatment, layout design, and thematic messaging. It is within this amount of time where they decide, emotionally, if they like you or not. If not, they move to the next thing and you may never be seen again. If they like you, within those first three seconds, then congratulations because you have just earned the next three seconds. It is here that we move from establishing an emotional affinity to where the user is formulating a plan. Brain likes emotional response, therefore brain tells hand to move mouse and prepare to click.
Your website is possibly the first impression that is made to your audience. If it's not the first impression then it's likely to be the second impression. Does your website have three second staying power?