All First Impressions Count
The always great 37Signals Blog points to an interview with John Gruber. In it, Mr. Gruber mentions the importance that Apple’s Steve Jobs places on the first start up experience a user has with their operating system.
While the entire interview is a must-read, this struck me in particular: your first-run experience: the experience you encounter the first time you boot the machine after taking it out of the box – therefore constitutes about one – thousandth of your entire experience with the machine. I think that’s the sort of logic that has driven most companies not to put that much effort into designing the first-run UI – it’s only going to happen once, and if it isn’t smooth, so what? Whereas I think Jobs looks at the first-run experience and thinks, it may only be one – thousandth of a user’s overall experience with the machine, but it’s the most important one-thousandth, because it’s the first one-thousandth, and it sets their expectations and initial impression.
Exactly! It is also exactly true for:
- The way your company answers the phone (If they actually answer it)
- The way your invoices look
- The quality of your business card
- The way you (and your team) dress when visiting a client or prospect
- The first impression of your web site
- Your office reception area
- The presentation of your proposal
- Etc, etc, etc….
Like it or not, fair or not, correct or not… All first impressions matter. You make them about everything and so do your clients and prospects. target="_blank"Malcolm Gladwell sold boatloads of books trying to convince you of it.
Simple? Obvious? If so, why do so many first impressions remain extraordinarily poor.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR(S)
Jonathan (@first_day) is a tech-focused jack of all trades and the editor-in-chief of UX Magazine. He is also the author of Effective UI: The Art of Building Great User Experience in Software, published by O'Reilly Media. Through its partnership with UX Magazine, Jonathan is also a senior advisor to Didus, a recruiting and career development company focused on user-centered professionals. As well, Jonathan is Managing Director, Product Strategy & Design for Dapperly, a fashion-oriented software product startup, and he is the Principal of First Day, a small private equity and consulting company. From 2005 to 2009, Jonathan helped found EffectiveUI, a leading UX strategy, design, and development agency focused on web, desktop, and mobile systems.