TRUST in a virtual world

May 8, 2009 at 3:21 pm | Posted in Web Design | Comments Off on TRUST in a virtual world
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According to Wikipedia “Trust is a relationship of reliance. A trusted party is presumed to seek to fulfill policies, ethical codes, law and their previous promises.”

So, how do we make the consumer trust our website and buy from it?

Design
The design of the website must be consistent. And interestingly, consistent, simple design is very appealing without the need for any fancy graphics. Keep the design simple and keep the design clean, take a look at some blank screen, for example Google.

The branding, the logo etc must be on every page. The layout of every page must be consistent, as should fonts, font size and colour.

Navigation must be the same on every page. It’s no good loosing your consumer in your site, they’ll move on. If you have so much information on your site why not integrate a search engine onto the page and always have a sitemap? This will help with navigation.

Words
If the site is selling online and credit or debit card details are needed, make sure the security of the system is identified to the consumer.

You may want a newsletter or a registering process for more information. Therefore email addresses will be collected and stored. Again, make it clear they will be kept securely and not sold on to a third party.

The Human Touch
Recommendations are now becoming more common and really useful. But then you have to trust complete strangers… If there are many comments or recommendations then it is possible to form an opinion, but maybe not when there is only one or two.

I always add our sites onto the human directory http://www.dmoz.org. When a site is suggested to this directory, a human being, with an understanding of the business of the suggested site will check it out and then add it to the directory. The major search engines also take notice of this site and periodically get update from this directory and add it to their own.

I always suggest that our clients make their contact details very obvious, sometimes on every page. Personally I won’t buy from a site if I can’t see any contact details. I want to see a real address and a telephone number. If the company is a limited company I want to know and of course it is law that a Limited company’s details are on the website. Basically, no matter where the company is in the world, I want to know that if I chose to that I could knock on their door.

To me then, trust seems to come down to the human element. But perhaps that’s old fashioned, what do you think?

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