I recently read a story about Bill Gates trying (and failing) to install the Windows 8.1 update on his computer on his first day back at the office at Microsoft. As you may or may not know, the Microsoft founder has agreed to come back into a more involved role as product advisor at Microsoft. But this is not the point  I want to share in this post (even though it is funny enough by itself ;-) ).

“You never get a second chance to make a first impression” I believe Mr. Gates relationship with Microsoft’s flagship product will never be great after this. The first customer experience he has had with the product is spoiled and it is quite hard to recover from that, research suggests. Psychologists say that it takes as little as 1/10th of a second to make a first impression. In products, I would guess it takes a bit longer, as our brain is not quite as used to reading products as it is to reading people.

Looking at this from a different angle, people are often wondering why there are so many unboxing videos on youtube. Isn’t it a bit crazy to make a movie about how you open the packaging of a new phone? Apparantly, some people love to celebrate their first impressions of products with this.

Thinking about this some more, doesn’t that make it worth looking a bit more closely at the first impression your products make? And even do some user experience research around it? What are you doing to make the first impression around your product as good as it could ever be?

P.S.: I know that it was probably not the first time Mr. Gates saw Windows 8.1 in action – so technically it wasn’t even a first impression. Sue me for stretching the story a bit ;) .