5-Second Test

A quick and easy way of usability testing. The 5-second tests gets users initial impression of a product or design when they see it the first time.

»Get Users First Impressions Quick«

Number of ParticipantsFacilitatorsCategoryDurationLevel of Difficulty
11 Moderator, 1 NotetakerTest Phase5-10minSimple


First impressions matter a lot! Studies have shown that users take as little as 3.5 seconds to make a decision of whether to stay on a page or abandon it. 5-Second tests are incredibly easy, fast, and cheap to run. They will help you see users initial perception of your brand, product, website. The 5-second test is a great way to get a user’s very first impressions of a website, product, or app. In this test, facilitators briefly show users a product, typically for only 5 seconds. After this showing, facilitators then ask a series of follow up question in order to understand the user’s perception and ini8al impression of the product.


  • Screen for showing the design
  • Note-taking utensils


Moderators may prepare a list of follow-up questions and prompt to ask participant.

  • Please describe the site you just saw.
  • What, if anything, stood out to you?
  • Which, if any, colors do you recall?
  • What product would you expect from this site?

Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. Let your participant know you will show them something on the screen
  2. Show them the design for 5 seconds only
  3. After showing, ask the participant about their first impression
  4. Use the prompts and follow up questions you prepared
  5. Take notes of their answers 6. End the test when satisfied
  6. Evaluate your findings

Remarks, Tips, Limitations

  • Do not warn participants that you will show the design for only 5 seconds.
  • Do not warn participants that you will ask them to recall what they saw.
  • 5-Second tests do not replace usability tests, A/B testing, or user interviews.


Mester, T. (2019, April 23). Five Second Testing. Retrieved August 22, 2020, from https://data36.com/five-second-testing/
Sherwin, K. (2018, April 20). 5-Second Usability Test. Retrieved August 01, 2020, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X0FG0jCqLYQ
Whitman, M. (2017, May 23). An Introduction to Five Second Testing. Retrieved August 01, 2020, from https://usabilityhub.com/guides/five-second-testing
Nielsen, J. (2011, September 11). How Long Do Users Stay on Web Pages? Retrieved August 22, 2020, from https://www.nngroup.com/articles/how-long-do-users-stay-on-web-pages/

Contributed by Robert de Oliveira