The New York Times writes:
According to Jakob Nielsen, a Web site consultant and author of the book Prioritizing Web Usability, it is essential that a Web page get a companys message across quickly, because visitors are a fickle bunch. Most people do not go beyond what is in front of their faces.
Studies by Mr. Nielsens company, the Nielsen Norman Group, an Internet design firm in Fremont, Calif., show that only 50 percent of Web visitors scroll down the screen to see what lies below the visible part on their PC monitor.
Users spend 30 seconds reviewing a home page, Mr. Nielsen said. A business must encapsulate what they do in very few words.
With findings like those, it is no wonder that Web pages must visually hit a visitor right between the eyes. If a site does not answer a users questions about a business, then you have scored one for the competition. For example, the first thing customers visiting any restaurants Web site want to know is when it is open. But often that information can be found only by digging through multiple pages. As a result, the site fails, Mr. Nielsen said.