What is a Five Second Test?

Have you ever heard of a five second test? If not, this is one of the fastest, most effective ways to get feedback on your landing pages to help improve conversions.

Let’s explore what it is and how to set one up using 2 popular testing tools.

What is a five second test?

A five second test is a research method that helps you measure what information a landing page visitor remembers after seeing a design for just five seconds.

Usually, you’re not showing the visitor the full design, but just the “above the fold” section.

After showing the design for five seconds, you then ask a few simple questions.

Choosing the best questions to ask

The question you ask are entirely up to you, but here are the three questions that I ask most often:

What do you think this page is about?

What product or service do you think this brand is offering?

What do you remember most vividly?

Remember to keep your questions short, and not to ask too many. After all, you’re asking people to provide written feedback based on only a few seconds of engagement with your landing page.

All you’re trying to do is see what the visitor’s first impression of the page is.

Setting up a five second test

There are a couple different ways to launch your own five second test.

UsabilityHub

This paid service lets you set up five second tests with ease, and they’ll even provide real people from their testing pool if you don’t have anyone to share the test link with.

Here are the exact steps for getting started with a five second test on UsabilityHub.

UserBob

Now, if you don’t want to run your five second test with UsabilityHub, another option is from a site called UserBob. Strange name, but great usability tool.

With UserBob though, there’s no testing pool, so you’ll have to share the link with your own audience in order to get people to take the test. If that sounds like a problem, see the UsabilityHub process above.

Here are the exact steps for getting started with a five second test on UserBob:

  • Go to the UserBob Five Second Test page
  • Enter the instructions for the testers, or leave the default instructions
  • Provide the URL of the page you want to test
  • Keep the “Delay” set to 5 seconds
  • In the “Follow-up URL” field, insert a link to a Google Form, Typeform, or other survey you’ve created that has the 3 questions you want people to answer
  • Click the “View” button
  • Copy the URL of the page you’re taken to
  • Share that link with whoever you want to participate in the test

That’s it!

So yes, it’s a bit more complicated to set up than if you were to do everything on UsabilityHub, since you have to create your own external survey with the questions you want to ask, but it’s free.

Just one of many types of user tests

Well, there you have it! Hopefully, you now know just how powerful a five second test can be for helping you improve your landing page or website.

It’s an easy test that you should run whenever you want to get a quick first impression of what people think about a page.

4 Likes

@Nicholas -

How do you account for very specific, niche audiences? Using your own list? We’re a B2B shop, so the general public would have zero idea (nor should they) about the content for most of our clients.

This is great; thanks!

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Great question, Adam! UsabilityHub (which is what we use for these tests) has a lot of demographic targeting parameters, so we’re often able to get pretty specific if we want to. But it just costs more and takes more time to get the test completed.

Having no idea about the content isn’t usually a problem, as what we’re testing is first impressions. So even if the page we’re testing is targeting a very specific audience, we’d want to to at least pass a five second test to a general audience. Otherwise, we’re probably using too much jargon or complicating things that we shouldn’t complicate.

1 Like