In 1999 Jakob Nielsen listed4 ways in which a website can传达可信度: design quality, up-front disclosure, comprehensive and current content, and connection to the rest of the web. In our study, we observed that这些相同的因素continue to influence users. This is yet another example of thedurability of usability guidelines: although design patterns and trends change over time, human behavior does not. Users’ priorities and methods of evaluation are the same today as they were 17 years ago, even though the web itself has vastly evolved. What we now consider a “quality” website design looks very different from a reputable website of the past, but what influences the perception of quality has not changed and will not change in the future.
The first step to garnering trust is to make your site appear legitimate and professional. Both the landing-page content and the main navigation必须组织得很好and the site shoulduse an appropriate color scheme and imagery。
Visual design。Thestandardfor what is considered a well-designed site constantly shifts in response to trends that eventually become the norm. For example, perhapsyoung adults consider flat designs as more professionalthan older audiences simply because they use more websites that have adopted a极简主义风格, and have adjusted their expectations over time.
Typos, broken links, and other mistakes quickly degrade credibilityand communicate an overall lack of attention to detail. Upon noticing a misspelled word on the homepage of a large moving company in Singapore, one user stated,“我在这里看到了一个拼写错误：他们猜他们不是很详细。这是他们朝向世界的脸;这是他们需要照顾的大东西......只是一些这样的简单的东西可以改变我的印象，可以改变我对所有人的感受。“
You wouldn’t trust someone who’s hiding something from you, would you? On the web, like in real life, people appreciate when sites areupfront with all information that relates to the customer experience。这包括突出显示联系信息（如良好的地方）utility navigation), documenting what is included in a base cost, stating any additional fees or charges that may accompany a service, presenting links to the return policy and guarantees, or revealing shipping charges before asking for billing information. When sites omitted basic information, they were almost immediately ruled out of consideration in favor of more upfront sites. One user spent only 35 seconds browsing the cleaning website HomeCleanz before she declared,“I would definitely not use HomeCleanz because they don’t state the rate here, they want us to actually write to them. So I feel they are not open enough.”
根据行业类型的不同，提前掌握信息可能会超出这些基础。例如，在比较几种快递服务时，用户除了价格信息外，还希望看到预计的送货窗口，就像你在实际申请Lyft或Uber之前会看到预计的取件时间一样。同样的情况也发生在杂货快递公司：潜在的顾客希望知道食品的送达速度，并了解如果他们白天不在家接收食物会发生什么。常见问题页面were frequently visited to look for answers to such information.
使这些重要的信息易于在网站上访问，会增加feeling of transparency, and shows that you understand your customers. Be aware though, that while users want to uncover possible hidden fees, they hate if they have to fill inlengthy formsto obtain that information. While a detailed quote form may provide a more specific price to the user, theinteraction cost太高了：用一位参与者有关移动公司网站的话，“I just want a quick quote, I hate having to key in all these particular details.”在这种情况下，可以牺牲一些特异性，只要提供成本范围，只要暴露所有相关的线项（税费，运费，最低）。
登录墙and设定的内容还有一个网站如何与用户似乎不提升的其他例子。Asking for information before providing any valueis a breach of trust:太快要求太多了意味着你得不到任何东西，因为用户离开而不是回答。即使是创造一个内容之门的感觉也会降低信任度，并让用户望而却步：访问杂货配送网站honestbee的几位参与者想知道为什么必须注册一个帐户才能查看网站上的任何内容。事实上，该网站要求的地址是为了显示参与该地区的门店，但在显眼的地址表格和来电Sign Upleft a negative impression.
全面的相关信息业务散发出s expertise and authority. In our study, users appreciated sites that contained a large amount of relevant content because it showed that the organization was well informed and committed to helping its customers. For example, participants favorably noted moving companies that presented moving tips such as how to best pack boxes to prepare for the movers.
It is also imperative that service sites display photos from all stages of the service, not merely the end result. When evaluating cleaning services, people wanted to see not only photos of clean rooms, but also images of the actual cleaning process and who would be doing the cleaning. Especially for industries that require a large amount of trust from potential customers — you are inviting a stranger into your home, after all — users want to get a better understanding of whom they will do business with. Generic photos of already clean rooms or other end results are more likely to be considered而不是有用的填充图像并因此被忽略了。
最重要的是网站必须代表全系列of services or products offered by the organization, or it risks alienating those users looking for the less featured items. For example, people looking for home movers were put off by companies that appeared to mostly cater to commercial relocations but also handle residential moves. Even though participants found the relevant content on the site and understood that the company did offer the right service for them, the overall lack of house photos, of testimonials from homeowners, and of other supporting content left the impression that the company did not value that line of business as much as its corporate customers. Similarly, cleaning services that only showed photos of high-end residences or large office spaces turned away those people living in smaller homes. No one wants to feel like a second-rate customer.
Connected to the Rest of the Web
Today, businesses and their websites cannot live in a vacuum. When researching products and services people do not rely solely on one website to glean information about its credibility and reliability, but instead look for external, unbiased sources. An isolated website that does not link to and cannot be found on third-party review sites, social media, or news outlets appears to either have something to hide or not be a fully established, stable company.
Due to the sheer amount of social media and review sites available,人们已经学会了信任这些外部资源，而不是公司赞助的内容。我们研究中的几位参与者评论说，虽然他们在线研究了各种服务，但他们不信任，这些网站或服务不受朋友或家人或至少其他人在网站上的其他人 - 无论网站可能有多漂亮。一名参与者解释说，“只要我选择公司合作，我确保我很了解它们。所以它必须是一家公司[我能看到别人的用途]。如果他们有客户评论，这可能是一个良好的媒体[新闻稿]。“