UX research: the power of five second testing for your experiments

Publication: Mar 16, 2023

UX research: the power of five second testing for your experiments

I love 5 second testing as a first step in UX research. You can have results within 30 minutes to 2 hours. 5 second testing is great for learning if the offer is being understood and what is missing on the page (explained in detail later).

  • How it works? 5-10 second testing shows a screenshot of a page and you can ask a few questions after this 'first impression'. 
  • Some advice: doing 10 seconds testing usually gets the best results - although it's called a 5 second test. It means getting less respondents saying: ‘it was too fast, didn't see.' 


Option 1: Understanding the offer 

One of the most important elements on your webpage is the offer you make to your visitors. 

One of the questions I often ask in 5 sec testing research to make sure the offer is clear is:


 What's being offered / sold?

 → The offer should be clear within 5 - 10 seconds. If not, this is a big indication to start improving your offer and showing it's value to the customer on your pages. When you make the offer clear, the conversion is likely to grow.

💡Example: Only 40% of the respondents for Hotelgyms.com understood that the website is about Hotels ánd their gyms. The majority thought it was for booking hotels only, going to the gym or selling gym equipment. 


💡Example: At a SaaS company >50% of the respondents didn't understand that free software was being offered, while this was the end goal of the page. One experiment (A/B-test) based on this finding showing the offer better and let to +13% conversion rate. 


Option 2: Are the visitor's first questions being answered?

5 second testing is about exploring first impressions and automatic responses / questions a visitor might have. That's why this question is also very successful: 


What information is missing on the page?
 → Tells you what's important to users when they buy or see the product/offer. This is an indication of what first time visitors are looking for, what's important to them (but maybe not visible enough) which you can ofter confirm with other types of UX research.


💡Example: For a eCommerce webshop the 5 second test learned us that people found prize, material and size of products really important. This was confirmed by other UX research. The order of content on the page was successfully optimized afterwards. 


How do you analyze a 5 second test?

UsabilityHub offers a way to do this inside the tool with colors and coding. Of course you can also do this yourself in Google Sheets for example, but I do like what UsabilityHub offers. 

  • Got to all the answers in Results > Answers
  • Start reading the answers and categorizing them. Create labels (you can use words, colors and emoji) to categorize the responses. 
  • Analyze the data in the overview of Tags. It calculates the % of answers categorized with a certain label. 

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Let’s take 30 minutes to figure out what would increase your conversion?