How quickly do you think the brain processes images? As you can imagine, it’s far quicker than the blink of an eye. In fact, visual processing speed for the brain runs as fast as 13 milliseconds.
After conducting visual studies, researchers at MIT concluded that “The fact that you can do that at these high speeds indicates to us that what vision does is find concepts. That’s what the brain is doing all day long — trying to understand what we’re looking at.” This means that the purpose of the eyes is not only to provide information to the brain, but also to allow the brain to process the information quickly enough to know what should be looked at next.
According to their studies, the meaning of individual images can be extracted even when the image is mixed in a sequence of up to a dozen images presented at 13 milliseconds per image. That’s 75 frames per second. It’s even quicker if the brain is presented with images that are particularly meaningful, such as faces or products that interest the viewer. Interestingly enough, the brain continues to process images long after it has been seen.
What does this mean for online retailers? As we stated in several of our previous posts, it’s important to make eCommerce websites easy to skim, as most people quickly scan content when they visit. This is especially the case when they shop using their mobile devices. Allow users to have to option to choose how many products they want to see per page, as that will help them skim at their own pace. You have no need to feel disheartened over the thought of visitors breezing through your selection of projects, as their brains are indeed retaining the information that is being glossed over. They know what they are looking for, and they will know when to pause.