Surprise! First Impressions Matter

I’m sure you’ve experienced this at some point:

a) You click on a link to a website
b) After a quick glance you already know you’re not interested,
c) So you click ‘back’ and head elsewhere.

How did you make that snap judgment? Did you really read enough information to know that this website wasn’t what you were looking for? Or was it something more immediate?

According to studies conducted by Google, it takes less than 50 milliseconds for you to form that initial “gut feeling” leading you to stay on the website or hit that back button. Wow! Less than a second! This should tell you that the first impression a website’s design creates is crucial in capturing users’ interest. And guess what? It’s true of books too.

So how do we create a great first impression? The answer depends on many factors: structure, colors, spacing, images, symmetry, amount of text, fonts, and more. In other words, it boils down to design.

First impressions are 94% design related.

We say that again: 94% of our judgement is based on appearances! Hard to believe? Actually, there’s a lot of evidence out there to support it. Let’s take a look at a couple scientific studies, shall we?

Mobile Phone’s Circa 2007


Which one do you prefer based on your “gut feeling?” Well, if you’re anything like the market majority, the iPhone is the clear winner.

In just 74 days after the iPhone was launched in 2007, Apple had sold 1 million phones. After 200 days, that number had grown to 4 million. That’s a lot of phones.

The key differentiator was design. While we may not understand exactly why it looks better, we can intuitively recognize great design. And Apple nailed it with the iPhone.

What was the first MP3 Player in the U.S. Market?

design matters

The Diamond Rio PMP300 was introduced to the market in September, 1998. So why do most of us have an Apple iPod which was introduced almost four years later in 2001? We think you know the answer.

Even though the Diamond Rio PMP300 had better battery life, more storage space, and was first to market, Apple’s intuitive design and sleek look took the market by storm.

Why ebook design matters

ebook design

It all comes down to choices. People have so many choices these days that you have to have more than just great content in order to get the attention your work deserves.

The easiest way to stand out (in either a good or bad way) is design. People will judge your content by the way your book looks, whether that’s fair or not. They will form a prejudice against you (including positive ones) in a matter of milliseconds. If it looks bad, you’re in big trouble.

Good design gets better results. Period.

Good design elicits trust. People either see something that interests them and looks like trustworthy content or they move on to the next thing. If your book is poorly designed, it seems untrustworthy and therefore the value of it’s contents are also called into question. If people don’t look at your work because it’s so badly designed then you’re missing out on lot’s of readers, customers, sales, and profits.

Good design = trust = more conversions = more money in your pocket. It’s as easy as that.

Design matters, it matters a lot. And with self-publishing on the rise, the bar for book design keeps getting higher and higher. Don’t get left behind.

Comments (2)
  1. Avishek November 20, 2013
    • support November 21, 2013

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