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1

Web users judge sites in the blink of an eye

A study has shown that users judge sites within the first twentieth of a second and that their decision has a lasting impact.

The lasting effect of first impressions is known to psychologists as the "halo effect". If you can snare people with an attractive design, they are more likely to rate the site more favourably. According to the researcher Gitte Lindgaard of Carleton University in Ottawa, this is because of "cognitive bias". People enjoy being right, so continuing to use a website that gave a good first impression helps to prove to them that they made a good initial decision.

The study is published in the journal Behaviour and Information Technology vol. 25.

Links:

  • The article Web users judge sites in the blink of an eye Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - January 18, 2019

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2

Using Photographs to Increase Trust in a Website

According to Dr. Bob Bailey, current research and studies show that staff photographs increase peoples trust in a website. But they should be used with care. In a study of online shopping, the photographs had a positive impact on non-experienced shoppers, while some experienced shoppers rejected them as fluff.

Links:

  • The article Using Photographs to Increase Trust in a Website Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - May 19, 2019

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3

How experts evaluate web sites' credibility

In parallel with Stanford Persuasive Technology Lab's study of how average people evaluate web sites' credibility, Sliced Bread Design and Comsumer WebWatch conducted a study of how industry experts rate credibility of the very same sites. The results showed that experts were far less concerned about visual appeal and more about the quality of a site's information.

The comparative studies suggest that while people without deep knowledge and personal interest in a site will judge it by its visual design, people involved in a site's professional domain are more concerned about the quality and accuracy of the content.

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Henrik Olsen - March 19, 2019

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4

How people evaluate a web site's credibility

Consumer WebWatch has published a research report by B. J. Fogg and the Stanford Persuasive Technology Lab on how people evaluate web sites' credibility. 100 sites in 10 content categories were studied and total of 2,684 people completed the survey.

When asked to comment on site's credibility, the top 10 issues addressed by the survey participants was:

1. Design Look (46.1%)
2. Information Design/Structure (28.5%)
3. Information Focus (25.1%)
4. Company Motive (15.5%)
5. Information Usefulness (14.8%)
6. Information Accuracy (14.3%)
7. Name Recognition and Reputation (14.1%)
8. Advertising (13.8%)
9. Information Bias (11.6%)
10. Writing Tone (9.0%)

Links:

Henrik Olsen - March 04, 2019

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5

Stanford Guidelines for Web Credibility

Stanford Persuasive Technology Lab has compiled 10 guidelines for building the credibility of a web site.

1. Make it easy to verify the accuracy of the information on your site.
2. Show that there's a real organization behind your site
3. Highlight the expertise in your organization and in the content and services you provide
4. Show that honest and trustworthy people stand behind your site
5. Make it easy to contact you
6. Design your site so it looks professional
7. Make your site easy to use - and useful
8. Update your site's content often
9. Use restraint with any promotional content
10. Avoid errors of all types

On their site you'll find more details and supporting research.

Links:

Henrik Olsen - March 02, 2019

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6

The nature of online privacy concerns

Since people have a tendency to produce their own version of companies' motivation for collection data online, it's important to have up-front and straightforward explanations about the things that users are concerned about. A survey by AT&T; has studied the nature of online privacy concerns.

Some interesting findings:
- 11% said that they feel comfortable providing their phone number, while 76% usually feel comfortable providing their email
- 54% were usually comfortable providing their full name
- The top reason for not filling out online forms was that information on how data is going to be used is not provided (96%) - less important was it whether a web site has a private policy (49%) or a privacy seal of approval (39%)
- A number of respondents were skeptic about whether sites actually follow their privacy policies, suggesting that they were unaware that seals can help provide assurance that policies are followed
- 52% were concerned about web cookies

Links:

Henrik Olsen - September 16, 2019

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