List of trust and credibility guidelines
- The content is up-to-date, authoritative and trustworthy.
- The site contains third-party support (e.g. citations, testimonials) to verify the accuracy of information.
- It is clear that there is a real organisation behind the site (e.g. there is a physical address or a photo of the office).
- The company comprises acknowledged experts (look for credentials).
- The site avoids advertisements, especially pop-ups.
- Delivery costs are highlighted at the very beginning of checkout.
- The site avoids marketing waffle.
- Each page is clearly branded so that the user knows he is still in the same site.
- It is easy to contact someone for assistance and a reply is received quickly.
- The content is fresh: it is updated frequently and the site includes recent content.
- The site is free of typographic errors and spelling mistakes.
- The visual design complements the brand and any offline marketing messages.
- There are real people behind the organisation and they are honest and trustworthy (look for bios).
You can also download translated versions of this checklist.
How to use these guidelines
Work through each of the items in the list and mark your site as either conforming or not conforming to the guideline.
Remember that all guidelines are context specific. If you feel that a guideline does not apply to your site, it's OK to ignore it.
These guidelines are purposefully expressed as positive statements, so that when you feed the results back to the design team you can identify some strengths of the design before you launch into the problems.
About the author
Dr. David Travis (@userfocus on Twitter) holds a BSc and a PhD in Psychology and he is a Chartered Psychologist. He has worked in the fields of human factors, usability and user experience since 1989 and has published two books on usability. David helps both large firms and start ups connect with their customers and bring business ideas to market. If you like his articles, you'll love his online user experience training course.
Love it? Hate it? Join the discussion
Have you used these guidelines to evaluate an interface? Which guidelines do you find most useful?