Design and Credibility

In her article titled Prove it: What makes you trust a website, Lorelle discusses the idea of trust and how it relates to the web. At first glance, I was skeptical to the idea of trust being a factor in making websites. Particularly because the things I felt were common sense apparently aren’t widely known. Things like content that lacks spelling and grammar errors, avoiding poor design, and making sure your contact information is easy to find. Making the website easy to navigate and especially making it easy to find the page with your contact and about information.
I was a little more than confused when the bulk of the article was written for about pages. But then I realized it was for a corporate setting. Now I understand that corporate sites are usually behind on the times, some probably even thinking frames might be cool until they hire a web specialist that points them in the right direction, but that doesn’t mean they don’t know that it should be easy to find an about section. The first thing I read when I get to a blog is the about and it still baffles me when I find blogs that are lacking. It should be common knowledge, Lorelle shouldn’t have even had to have written this article in the first place!

Spelling and grammar errors shouldn’t even be listed in there, this is the web and there is spell check for people who don’t know how to spell. Spell check even just told me that the word “spell check” isn’t one word; it’s two.

The first thing I learned was the idea that the purpose of the site should be clear and concise; the website needs to be to the point. Otherwise you’ll get people that hit the back button when they aren’t finding what they want, and fast.

I went in to my response wanting to right about how this is true. You do need to create a trustworthy site. I was clearly unprepared for the article I read. It’s not poorly written by any means. I praise Lorelle for her structure and ideas. I just feel that as a subject it is unnecessary.

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2 thoughts on “Design and Credibility

  1. Thanks for the kind comments and observations.

    Actually, the example I used was not for a corporate site but for an entrepreneur’s personal site. And I’m talking about ALL websites. As you said, it’s normal to want to know more about a site that catches your attention, and the About Page is now a standard – or should be – on all websites. Yes, few people pay attention to that, but it is true.

    I’ve been researching for years what makes people trust a website. It’s critical as a web designer and developer to study such things, and it is often a hard thing to lay down in specifics, which is why I started the series.

    I wish the entire series wasn’t necessary, but people treat the web differently than they do in “real” life. They make a lot of assumptions, fall for things they wouldn’t in real life, and don’t always think things out all the way, making it my job to point out the obvious.

    I have more articles scheduled in the series coming out soon. I look forward to more of your comments about them.

    Thanks!

  2. Many of my online students found the article quite helpful. They had designed their own portfolio sites and had not realized the importance of the About page in lending credibility to all kinds of sites. People want to know about the people who are running a business before they really trust it. Also, there was a lot in this article about how the look of a site lends trust. If a site looks unprofessional, then that’s the impression that viewers of the site will have about the business also.

    I assigned the article because I see plenty of sites that clearly haven’t learned the importance of how to build trust, and my job is to make sure my students aren’t the ones making those sites! :)

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