The old saying “If you build it, they’re going to come”, but will they? you’ll put all the proper pieces in situ …marketing strategy, a robust brand identity, an honest sales team, and an excellent product or service on offer, and you’re wondering whether spending time and money on great web design is really worthwhile? Let’s determine.
In the world of enterprise websites, there’s an issue that comes up again and again: what proportion does good web design really matter within the grand scheme of things?
What if you’ve got a stellar marketing strategy, a robust brand identity, an honest sales team, and an excellent product or service on offer, is spending time and money on great web design actually worthwhile?
Our answer to those questions is an unequivocal yes.
The answer may be a little surprising. It’s not because there’s something intrinsically good about a few well-designed websites, or because web design features a direct impact on your bottom line.
It’s something a touch more subtle: good web design can significantly boost customer trust.
And cultivating deep customer trust features a slew of knock-on benefits—from increased purchasing rates, to long-lasting customer loyalty, to helping a corporation cement its credibility as an idea leader.
In today’s post, we’re getting to dive into the links between web design and customer trust. We’ll check out how exactly web design builds a trusting brand-customer relationship, and we’ll highlight some key elements of trust-focused web design. But first, a fast primer on why customer trust matters.
Why Does Customer Trust Matter?
It might be tempting to write down ‘trust’ as a fluffy concept. But recent research has shown that feelings of trust have a serious impact on how online customers behave. (For a scientific deep dive, you’ll inspect a few studies here and here.)
For example, during a 2017 study, 79% of consumers said that a brand would wish to determine a trusting relationship with them—by demonstrating their understanding and looking after them as a customer—before they might consider purchasing a product or service.
So, trust can play a key role in encouraging prospective customers to follow through with a sale.
But beyond this first purchasing behaviour, trust also plays a task in building customer loyalty over the end of the day. Companies that inspire trust in their customers also inspire repeat purchases and lasting business relationships. Obviously, if customers feel that a corporation is trustworthy, they’re more likely to continue devoting their time and money to the company over the end of the day .
And finally, customer trust can help your company establish itself as an industry thought leader. If your customers trust what you’ve got to say—and if the content you’re producing feels credible and reliable—they’re more likely to look at your company as an authority.
So—trust matters. A lot. And web design may be surprisingly effective thanks to cultivating it.
The Design Effect
In 2004, a gaggle of researchers within the uk began to know what inspired trust among users of health websites. They were especially curious about understanding the impact of web design vs. website content. And what they found was staggering.
When respondents distrusted an internet site, 94% of them reported that this mistrust was directly associated with the site’s design elements.
By contrast, only 6% reported that their distrust supported the particular content of the location. So web design was far and away the foremost important element in determining users’ feelings of distrust.
Participants also outlined the planning redflags that contributed to the present distrust including:
- Busy, complex layouts
- Too much text
- Small print that’s hard to read
- Over-the-top ads and pop-ups
- Slow website load times and slow introductions to a site
- Lack of navigation aids
- Boring web design and lack of colour
While this study checked out health websites specifically, the essential idea carries over to other industries also.
The Stanford Web Credibility Project, as an example , found that web design can have a strong subconscious impact on the extent of trust that users reach the knowledge on a company’s website—and by extension, to the corporate itself. In their survey, 46% of respondents reported that they assessed website credibility supported the general design of the location, including elements like typography, layout, and colour schemes.
There’s a reasonably straightforward explanation for this powerful relationship between design and trust. It stems from the aesthetic-usability effect (a term coined by Nielsen Norman Group).
The basic idea here is that lovely things inspire positive emotional responses—beautiful websites are usually seen as easier to use, more valuable, and more trustworthy than their badly designed counterparts.
So if your users have a positive emotional response to your visual design, it makes them more tolerant of any issues and it inspires feelings of trust and confidence.
But how, specifically, can your web design cultivate this type of positive emotional response? Here are three tips for implementing trust-focused design on your own site.
3 Ways to style a Trust-Focused Site
1) Conform to existing design trends to spice up credibility
We’re not advocating jumping on every web design trend bandwagon that comes rolling your way—that would be exhausting, and it might probably give your users whiplash instead of establishing your site as a stable, trustworthy presence.
But one key element of trust-focused design is conforming to modern design standards. If your web design is dated, users will wonder what else is off. Is your product up-to-date? Is your company really credible?
2) Specialise in design consistency
Keeping design elements consistent throughout a site is one among the keys to maintaining user trust.
If your user suddenly stumbles on a component of the location that feels out-of-step with the remainder, it is often a jarring experience. And it can negate their feelings of trust in a big way. There’s something fishy about a few business websites that suddenly change their stripes once you navigate to a replacement page.
Over at Appcues, they suggest performing a daily consistency audit to affect this problem. They also recommend making all of the third-party elements on your site look native so as to supply a seamless experience.
3) Put security and transparency at the forefront of your design
Finally, you’ll build customer trust by designing a layout that emphasizes security and transparency. you’ll approach this during a few different ways:
- If you are doing e-commerce, you’ll design page layouts that draw attention to the safety features of your site (think security badges and security policies)
- If you’re an enterprise company, you’ll establish credibility and transparency with well-designed team pages that give your company a person’s face, clear and simply accessible contact info pages
- You can provide explicit explanations of how you’re protecting customer data (and use design elements to draw attention to those explanations)
- You can maximize legibility, readability, and ease in order that users can easily understand your messages and services (and in order that they don’t desire you’re hiding any important information)
The Bottom Line
There are tons of reasons to take a position in good web design. But one among the foremost basic—and most frequently overlooked—reasons is that strong web design can help your company build a deep and trusting relationship with its customers.
And that trust goes an extended way: it inspires consumer confidence and loyalty, it drives purchasing behaviour, and ultimately, it’ll provide a big boost to your business. Building user trust through web design is an investment. But it’s one that’ll pay off within the end of the day .