7 Ways a Designer Can Help You Build Trust Through Your Website
Trust symbols can be a powerful boost for your website. According to KISS metrics, updating the design of your website alone can help increase conversions by up to 33%.
A website can serve many functions. If you sell from your website, your goal is to acquire more customers. If it's to inform or educate, you want to increase your leads or subscribers. Whatever your goal, one of the crucial functions of your site is to build trust and authority. By presenting your website in the way you do you hope to portray a trustworthy image to your visitors.
In the graph below, you can see the companies who are known for great design (Google & Apple) are more trustworthy than companies like Facebook, who has been known for misleading privacy practises. Building this type of trust is facilitated through building your reputation, and design is a factor that can have a major influence on the initial opinion of your company.
1. Honest Design
Being transparent with your customers is a good step towards earning trust. Your customers want to know that your company is honest about what you are promoting, provide complete details on all products, and are also truthful on how the company is run. This also includes insights into your processes and ethos, and admittance of mistakes.
For example, if you promising free shipping on all orders or are promoting a life-time guarantee, that needs to be incorporated into the design and followed-through on.
2. Showing You Look Out For the Customer
Customers want to feel like you care about them as people, not just customers with money. Customers want to believe that your company cares about the overall experience of your visit and is responsible for being fair and accurate in the claims of products or services. By designing a website that shows you have your visitors best interests at heart, it can instil confidence in decision making.
3. Ethical Design Solutions
Customers want to know that a business will treat them fairly and lawfully. As the web matures, it has become easier and easier for large corporations to manipulate users (LinkedIn, I'm looking at you). The advancement in human psychology and marketing has come to a point where companies are able to trick users into doing something they will regret later.
Although some deceitful antics are not technically illegal, it can obviously be damaging to the user experience. Your designer has the responsibility to provide ethical design solutions for you and your visitors.
"Updating the design of your website alone can help increase
conversions by up to 33%."
4. Appears Secure
Security can be a barrier for customers who are thinking of making a purchase — if a site doesn't look secure, they assume it isn't. Even things like broken links, not showing what types of payment you accept, or not updating content regularly can make your site look insecure.
Security seals give visitors peace of mind that their personal and credit card information is protected. With less-techy folks, including lock icons or trustmarks in the design helps build confidence. Even though your infrastructure in the background is secure and safe, reinforcing that to the user through design can help reduce friction during checkout.
Legitimacy, again, comes back to your reputation. The easiest way to build legitimacy for your website is to prove you are established, know what you are doing and can be trusted. A few ways to improve legitimacy through design is to include social proof sections throughout the experience. Testimonials, mentions in the press, years of experience, number of customers served, awards and case studies demonstrate you have been recognized or have received praise from others. A visitor has to believe that a company is “real,” or no trust can be established.
As expected, consistency in your brand creates a solid foundation for your website and other mediums that users may come into contact with your company. Trust is built over time, on a consistent basis. If your brand strategy is haphazard, it can confuse and complicate. A designer has the ability to present your brand similarly across multiple platforms and devices, so that users are able to recognize your company. There are many opportunities to increase your brand awareness and consistency through small design details such as email signatures, social media outlets, printed materials, and more.
If things don't behave or function as expected, it can erode users' confidence. Users want to feel like they are in control. Designing context around steps and actions that you want your visitors to take is crucial to the success or failure of your website. For example, if a user clicks "Next," is it clear what the next step actually is? If you throw an error during the checkout, do you tell them explicitly how to fix it? The less you can make the user think, the better.