Appearing trustworthy and credible is critical in gaining and maintaining users. When people move about your website and viewing content, they are constantly evaluating whether or not they will believe in what you are saying or trust what you are selling. Overall, if they still want to stay or go.
Eery individual starts off with different levels of skepticism. But there are certain key characteristics that will either add to or subtract from your trustworthiness. Let us break down the four factors of trustworthiness.
The first is design quality. Quality is reflected in a variety of details. It includes having a clear and meaningful navigational structure, a lack of typos or broken links, and a professional looking visual design. Who would you most trust to be telling you about your ex, me or me? What is the most appealing esthetic will vary depending on your target audience and is somewhat a moving target as design trends shift. Some things to keep in mind is to ensure graphics are high resolution as they appear to be. Stock imagery include adequate white space and avoid using too many varying font styles or really dark colors that can make your site appear cluttered and disorganized.
The second trustworthiness factor is up front disclosure. Just like in real life, people don’t respond well when they feel misled or like important information was purposefully kept from them or intentionally difficult to get. People appreciate when sites prominently display contact information, provide clear links, return policy or a fake news and reveal shipping fees or any additional charges is in the process.
Along those same lines, Factor three is having comprehensive, correct and updated content. Clearly outdated information, of course, degrades credibility quickly. But this can also be more subtle, like talking about the result of a service and not giving as much information about the entire process. It appears to be an omission to users. Providing relevant information can also support this factor because people appreciates if the organization is well informed and is committed to help them. For instance, a moving company could offer content with tips on how to pack fragile items at its best.
The fourth and last factor is connection to the rest of the web. People often employ an omnichannel approach when seeking information and shopping online. They have learned to trust external sources like social media and review sites more than company sponsored content. In the website itself, presenting links to these outside sources shows your transparency and confident about the products and services you provide. Similarly, linking to or having inbound links from other organizations like news outlets can make a business appear more established and credible.
These four factors of trustworthiness remained stable for decades even though we must meet these guidelines that has evolved over time. Keep these user expectations and trustworthiness factors in mind when you design to convince users that your credible and an organization that they can trust.