The UX test of 5 seconds

5 seconds. It isn’t much, is it? What can you do in such a short period of time? It’s believed that sloth’s sexual intercourse lasts 5 seconds or the hybrid version of Lexus LC500h accelerates to hundred in that time.  Anyway, it only takes 5 seconds to analyse the customer’s first impression of your e-shop. Based on that you can develop your e-shop in order to get the higher conversion rate. As we all know, the first impression can’t be made twice. When we see something for the first time, we have three main options: to fell in love with it, do not pay any special attention to it or to hate it and never come back to it. The secret of that magical 5 seconds is that your customer is deciding whether or not he likes your eCommerce. He notices if the quality of your service suits him or if he has to look for another e-store – your competition. Remember – competition doesn’t sleep!

Let’s get down to business. What is really going on with the 5 seconds’ test? As the name of it suggests, it’s a technique which lasts 5 seconds and includes the user disposal to the testing site. Then the researcher asks questions. It sounds simple, doesn’t  it? And it really is! Due to this test, we are able to find out very interesting things about our site and especially about the user’s reaction. That method allows us to check if the site is achieving the main goal. I’ll show you the example.



Let’s imagine, that we’re organising paid event. The web site, that we host, have to be focused only on one goal-  make it available for people to do the payments, in order to get the tickets for the event. What can we test with 5 seconds method?

We can check:

– if the user knows on which page he is?

– if he has an easy access to information about necessary payments?

-if  he sees the right buttons that get him to the checkout?


I’ll instruct you how to conduct this test. Let’s play the game!

1. Give user the task e.g. ‘You decided to take part in event organized by our company. You enter the page name X to check out the price list. In your opinion, how can you make a reservation for this event?’

2. Inform the examined, that the site will be visible to him for only 5 second and ask him to remember as much as he can from it.

3. Show the X web site for 5 seconds to the examined. In the case of stationary testing you have to switch off/cover/change the page yourself. In the online testing, when we have accurate settings, it happens automatically.

4. Ask the examined to write down all the information he remembered. In addition, you ask user about his first impression of the page, what information are the most significant for him and how he can make the reservation for the event.

Writing women

5. Analyse the results. Consider not only the verbal communication (answers to the specific questions), but also the non-verbal one (gestures, the face expression during the display of the page).

6. Make the conclusion. If you find out that users can’t give the right answer to any of your questions, that is the sign that the usability, functionality and, in general, layout need to be redesigned . The perfectly optimised page has to ‘produce’ 100% of the correct answers from the all the tested users.

7. If the website needs correction, we design it in a new way and repeat the process of testing. The second test should be held in the same conditions as the first one was. That means equal number of examined, same questions, in the same conditions If you conduct the test that way, we’ll get the perfect data for the comparison. Then the results will allow you to create a well converting service, a landing page or an e-shop.
Now, you see, that 5 seconds isn’t such a small amount of time. The test, which we’ve described above, is one of the basic UX research. It helps you in creating more functional and user friendly eCommerce. You can get to know other methods, which focus on the User Experience, by following our blog! However, if your eCommerce business is in need of professional UX-designers’ help, you can contact us at anytime!