Eyes Don’t Lie: Understanding Users’ First Impressions on Websites Using Eye Tracking

Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 8016)


Websites are prevalent these days. Web users make instantaneous judgments regarding a website based on their first impressions and usually decide either to stay on the website or bypass it during their initial interaction with the website. Hence, understanding users’ first impression is important for both practitioners and researchers. This research examines users’ first impression of websites using an eye tracker. Eye tracking can provide fixation points where users focus their attention on a stimulus. The eye tracking results indicate that users take at least 2.66 seconds to scan the website before they fixate their eyes on an element of the website. Our analysis also shows that first fixation duration lasted for 180 milliseconds. This indicates that after allocating attention to a specific area on a website, the eyes stopped to focus for 180 milliseconds during which the brain processed the visual information received from the eyes to organize the information and form an impression of the website.


First impression Websites Eye Tracking Attention 


  1. 1.
    Hamilton, D., Katz, L., Leirer, V.: Cognitive representation of personality impressions: Organizational processes in first impression formation. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 39(6), 1050–1063 (1980)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Lindgaard, G., Fernandes, G., Dudek, C., Brown, J.: Attention web designers: You have 50 milliseconds to make a good first impression! Behaviour & Information Technology 25(2), 115–126 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Thomson, A.: Does your website attract or detract? Risk Management 53, 50 (2006)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Thilmany, J.: Web search measure website appeal in seconds. Mechanical Engineering 125, 10–14 (2003)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    De Groot, N.: Importance of first impressions. American Book Publishing, Salt Lake City (2006)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Mitchell, M., Corr, J.: The first five minutes: How to make a great first impression in any business situation. Wiley (1998)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Willis, J., Todorov, A.: First impressions: Making up your mind after a 100-ms exposure to a face. Psychological Science 17(7), 592–598 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Fiske, S., Neuberg, S.: A continuum model of impression formation: From category-based to individuating processes as a function of information, motivation, and attention. Advances in Experimental Social Psychology 23, 1–74 (1990)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Technolog. Eye tracking as a tool in package and shelf testing, (accessed on: October 25, 2011)
  10. 10.
    Rayner, K.: Eye movements in reading and information processing: 20 years of research. Psychological Bulletin 124(3), 372 (1998)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Wedel, M., Pieters, R.: Informativeness of eye movements for visual marketing: Six cornerstones. In: Visual Marketing: From Attention to Action, pp. 43–71 (2007)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Missouri University of Science and TechnologyUSA

Personalised recommendations