The Power of Three

The Power of Three

Three is a magic number, for sure.

  1. Where am I ?
  2. What can I do here?
  3. What should I do next?

Three is key to optimizing landing pages — that and delivering on the promise the search result makes. It used to be people asked how to optimize a HOME page, but thank goodness folks are realizing that Google Search is the real home page these days. ( More on that some other time).

For awhile now, in lab-based usability tests, I”ve been doing the famous “5 second test” to see if people can grok the gist of the site from the page they find themselves on:

I show a page out of context  for a grand total of five seconds and ask the test participant to write down what they remember…..

Now, there is this site for doing quick tests like this. “Five Second Test” I found it while I was searching around for tools and stuff. This is a really cool little app where one can take a random 5 second test or set up their own.

I did just that.

Here is how:

* got a screenshot of my client”s home page;

* went to * filled in the form;

* uploaded the screenshot

* posted the generated link at Twitter and asked tweeps participate.

The participants were asked to look at the picture for 5 seconds and list the  5 things they remembered.

The results:    I got some responses ( like 22). The top mentions:

* Orange

* Spanish

* Nurse / mention of the person in the picture

* Cancer

* Cherries

This was a slight concern to me because I couldn’t answer the really important questions.

(Here is where the POWER of THREE comes in).  I ask what I deem to be the three most important questions after asking participants to list their five things.

Adding these three powerful questions to the mix really helps me start to understand if that landing page is contextual, has the value proposition articulated, and has a clear path to a good outcome.  Try it!

Check out the tool  Five Second Test

Published by JB

@uxsuccess Lean User Experience; Agile software development @Tellagence, I believe user success = business success. I talk about that here: Personal blog -

One Comment

  1. Totally expected some Lord of the Rings anecdotes. Like your analysis!


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