top of page
Blink Testing

Users will form an opinion on your site within seconds of visiting. Blink Testing tells you what information and visual elements resonate with your customers within those first few seconds. A test participant is shown a page for five seconds. Once the page is hidden from view, participants provide their initial impression and what they recall.

This versatile test can be administered as part of a Lab Test, automated via an online tool and administered remotely, or it can be used as a Guerrilla Usability Test at a conference or other public space.


Schedule Time

  • Per Session: 2-6 Minutes
    Complete as many sessions as possible in about an hour for usable results.

Gather Materials

  • A screenshot or printout

  • Paper

  • Pens or pencils

  • An audio recorder for verbal answers



Determine how you want to administer the test.

  • Manually. A test facilitator shows participants a printout or screenshot for five seconds, and then hides or closes it.

  • Automatically. UsabilityHub’s tool at can be configured to collect results for you.


Determine what kinds of results you need and how users should provide their responses.

  • Free Listing Technique. Provide two pens (one for backup) and paper, and have customers write everything they remember, one item per line. Give them all the time they need.

  • Draw Back Technique. Give participants paper and black-and-white drawing implements to draw what they remember. Tell participants not to be too detailed or use any color lest they draw too slowly and forget what they saw. Do not limit their time, however.

  • Open-Ended Questions. Ask your customers questions, like: “What does this site convey?” “What is the purpose of this page?” “What can you do here?” Use an audio recording device to gather spoken answers.


Collect all responses, and analyze the results to look for patterns.


Try these tips

  • Because this test can be administered quickly, you can combine all 3 techniques described in Step 2.

  • A lab test can begin with a sequence of a Blink Test, then a Visual Affordance Test, then an Expectation Test. From there, continue with a scenario-based Think-Aloud Test.

Explore more resources

bottom of page