Web design has now evolved to a point where a good web will build trust, and this is important for several reasons, but is crucial, if the point of the web design is to sell products.
Many people still distrust buying products or services from the internet. One of the main reasons is fraud, and people do have a fear that should they give there credit card details to a retailer, they will be ripped off and defrauded. This has happened in the past, and often, it has gained a lot of media attention.
So as a web designer, it is important that you tailor your web designs to looking professional, make them useable, and adhere to certain rules, which if completed correctly, will result in a sale.
What this means, is that it is more than just the basic conventions of having clear, well placed links, a standard, no nonsense layout, and a few testimonials or recommendations. For a web design to build trust, the whole design must convince the sceptical user, that this website is the real deal.
To achieve this, you must fulfil your promises. If you have promised a freebie, or a tempting offer, then the site must fulfil this. It is no good if you have promised a free laptop, only for a user to find that it is only available to people living on the moon. A free laptop must materialise, or the potential customer is now someone else’s customer.
Similarly, if you are using a landing page, ensure that there are no links leading away from it when the user sees it. Also, why use a shopping cart, it will only prolong a process, why not build into the navigation, a simple mouse click for the order? Saves everyone time, and keeps the customer happy, which is always a good thing.
Research has shown that the most important links should be bolder, and bigger. In the case of selling products, the “checkout”, or “order now”, button should be the one the user can see from the moon. It is not a good idea to make it ambiguous: “Order now, or contact us for a quotation”, as if this is not understood by a user, they may shop elsewhere. Other links are important, obviously, but not as important as the ‘checkout’ one, so make sure they do not get the same attention.
It is also important, that if you are hi-lighting links using Flash or another RIA, that you make sure they do not look like ads. This is a big no no, as most users have learned to skip anything that flashes, dances, or jigs around. So if your most important link looks like an ad, you may loose that sale.
As a web designer, it is important that you consider how you are going to present certain information to the user, especially at the point of sale. Privacy, security, and all the rest of it is something a user has to agree to, so take some time to consider your options, and try to make presenting the information as painless as possible to all concerned. Not only think about how you are going to do it, but think about when. Timing can be everything when it comes to building trust in a web design.
With the development of web 2.0, the web has taken off in many different directions, and ecommerce has seen significant developments due to its commercial implications. As a web designer it is important that the conventions of sales, and web designs that incorporate selling, are learned and implemented into your work. A good web design will build trust.