September 11, 2020

Factors of UX Design: Credible

User experience design is about creating the ideal encounter for the customer or visitor while using a product or service. The term is mainly used in relation to digital experiences, including websites, software, and mobile apps, but can also apply to the remote control to your TV, the control pad on your microwave, and the process you go through to return an item to a store.

User experience design can be described by seven factors, according to Peter Morville:

  • Useful: Do the content and function fulfill a need for the user?
  • Usable: Is the product or service easy to use?
  • Findable: Are the content and function navigable and locatable within the product?
  • Credible: Do users trust the content and function of the product or service?
  • Desirable: Do users appreciate the content and function of the product or service?
  • Accessible: Can users of all abilities access and use all content and function?
  • Valuable: Is the content and function of considerable use, service, or importance to the user and the business?

In my next seven blog posts, I'll be doing a deeper dive into each of these factors that shape the user experience. Today's post is the fourth in the series and is about credibility.

Having a credible website and one that specifically informs the user of its credibility is of utmost importance for conducting business over the web, especially for e-commerce. But what exactly is credibility? Credibility is the quality of being trusted and believed in. Trust is defined as confidence in or the truth in a statement. The design of your website or app needs to communicate trust.

The design itself can communicate trustworthiness in 4 ways:

  • Design quality: Typos or difficult navigation communicate disregard for the users.
  • Direct disclosure: Acknowledgment of all aspects of the customer relationship.
  • Correct and current: Random content signals flaky service.
  • Connected: Links to other, third party websites throughout your site.

Online trust is important whether you are trying to distribute information or initiating online business transactions. Sticking to web conventions lends your site credibility. One of the best methods to improve your credibility is to be clear and honest about the product or service you're selling. Other trust inducing features as defined by researchers, Ye Diana Wang and Henry H. Emurian include:

Graphic Design: First impressions are important.

  • Three-dimensional, dynamic, and half-screen size graphic elements such as photography and illustrations.
  • Symmetric use of moderate pastel colors of low brightness and a cool tone.
  • Use of well-chosen, well-shot photographs.

Structure Design: Overall organization and accessibility of information.

  • Consistent and easy-to-use navigation
  • No broken links
  • Availability of tutorials or FAQs
  • Page design techniques (example: adequate white space,)

Content Design: Informational components, either textual or graphical.

  • Display of brand-promoting information (example: the prominent display of your logo)
  • Up-front disclosure of all aspects of the customer relationship (examples: security, privacy, extra fees, etc.)
  • Display of seals of approval or third-party certificate, like the closed lock icon in the location bar of the browser.
  • Use of comprehensive, correct, and current product information.

Social-cue design: Embedded social cues, such as face-to-face interaction and social presence

  • Include representative photographs.
  • Use of synchronous communication media (example: live chats)

What are some clues that you notice that make you trust or distrust a website? Please share in the comments below.

Are you planning on designing a new website or mobile app? I can help! Please contact me to get the conversation started on how we can serve your customers.

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