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OPLIN 4cast #522: Trustworthiness cues

Posted in 4cast

Trustworthiness is becoming an important issue on the web, with some of the biggest players taking new steps to mitigate the frequency of untrustworthy information on their websites. Trustworthiness is seldom a problem for libraries — at least for bricks and mortar libraries. We are pretty adept at providing library visitors with the psychological cues that build trust. But does your library website appear to be just as trustworthy as your physical library? If not, there are a few ways to change that.

  • From bricks to clicks: Building customer trust in the online environment (Human Factors International | Kath Straub)  “Steinbrück (2002) conducted an experiment comparing online banking sites with no pictures, with an unlabeled employee picture and with the same picture labeled as a nameless customer service representative. After about fifteen minutes of combined free exploration and transaction simulation tasks, participants rated the trustworthiness of the sites overall. Independent of their Internet experience, participants rated the site with the labeled picture most trustworthy. In addition, the site with the unlabeled picture was considered more trustworthy than the site with no photo whatsoever.”
  • How to bring trust and credibility to your website (Content Marketing Institute | Dianna Huff)  “By using boilerplate on an About page, which many B2B companies do, I’m afraid to say, a vendor is throwing away a prime opportunity to tell its company story, show its authenticity, and by extension, build trust with buyers. […] For some reason, companies often post a picture of their building on the About page – a terrible waste of opportunity and space. As I tell my clients, ‘People take people out to lunch, not buildings, so show the people inside the building.’ You can do this through bios and other engaging content.”
  • 10 crucial elements for website credibility (Userlike | Pawel Grabowski)  “A slow loading time is killing for the credibility of your website and the trust in your brand. This point is also made in this KISSmetrics post: ‘Remember that for every second you shave off of load time, you’ll tend to boost customer confidence and trust in your site, and sow the seeds that will make them [want] to tell others about you.’”
  • Color matters: Color as trustworthiness cue in web sites (Technical Communication [abstract] | Wouter A. Alberts and Thea Van der Geest)  “The findings indicate that when the same Web site is presented using different color schemes, the Web sites are considered to have different levels of trustworthiness. Color has a statistically significant but limited effect, compared with all other reasons people can have to trust a Web site. Overall, the blue color scheme was perceived as most trustworthy and black as least trustworthy.”

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