Web Design Trust and Credibility

Building user trust and credibility are essential in web design

Great web design is about being smart. Don’t make simple online mistakes that negatively affect how visitors perceive your website – it could hurt your sales.

Websites must establish trust and present themselves as credible to turn visitors into customers.” Neilsen Study: Trustworthiness in Web Design: 4 Credibility Factors by Aurora Bedford, 2016

In 1999 Neilsen undertook research that identified four key ways that a website can communicate credibility and trustworthiness. In 2016 a further round of research confirmed that these same factors were as relevant today as they were then. While so much has happened over the last seventeen years in technological terms, consumer behaviour has not.

So what are these critical four ways you can ensure your web design builds consumer trust:

  1. Design Quality
  2. Being Upfront
  3. Great Content
  4. Connectivity to the Rest of the Internet

1. Design Quality

Creating a great first impression matters. People take in multiple cues when they land on your website in an matter of seconds so you need to get the basic of design right. Visitors make a call within seconds about whether you can be trusted. If you get a thumbs down you’ve lost them and they will click away, probably for good

Design quality includes such things as your site’s general layout and use of expected conventions about where things are on your site, the quality and consistency of images and fonts, your colour scheme, the professionalism of the navigation and link structure, spelling, copy, links and the overall usability of your site. You need to look contemporary, professional, relevant and competitive, not just within your category, but increasingly against a multitude of businesses both local and international.

2. Being Upfront

This factor is all about being transparent and providing visitors with all the information they need to make a thorough assessment of the complete customer experience they can expect, so don’t hide those shipping charges. Be upfront about all your rates, prices and all associated charges and benefits and customer policies, warranties and guarantees, detailed contact information, memberships and credentials, customer testimonials. Spell it all out because online customers think poorly of unforeseen surprises that hit their hip pocket.

3. Great content

Your online authority and expertise are readily established and communicated when there is plenty of relevant copy and imagery of your entire range of products and services. One sure way to send alarm bells is for your website to have old and outdated information displayed on the homepage and other key landing pages.

4. Connectivity to the Rest of the Internet

You might think your site looks trustworthy but people are sceptical of what is written on sites and will use other online sources to corroborate and validate your credentials in whatever field you operate. They will often view associated social media channels to see if you are genuine and an ongoing concern. People look at review sites and association sites to verify websites so consider what third-party sites you should be featured on and get connected.

For further reading about these factors connect to Nielsen Norman Group


Contact Brett Osmond at Leading Hand to discuss your site.

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