Frequently Asked Questions

Does it really matter what my website looks like?
Yes, it definitely does, because people will judge your company based on the quality of your website, whether that’s fair or not.
How much impact does design have on trust and mistrust of websites and how much impact does the quality of the content have?
All the factors that were mentioned for rejecting or mistrusting website, 94% were design related; only 6% were content related.
Specific design problems that led to rejection or mistrust were:
  • Inappropriate name for the website
  • Complex, busy layout
  • Lack of navigation aids
  • Boring web design, especially use of color
  • Pop up advertisements
  • Slow introductions to a site (splash pages, slow-loading flash introductions, etc)
  • Small print
  • Too much text
  • Corporate look and feel
  • Poor search facilities/indexes
  • The look and feel of the website was clearly important to the participants. Visual appeal, plus design issues relevant to site navigation appeared to exert a strong influence on people’s first impressions of the site. Poor interface design was particularly associated with rapid rejection and mistrust of a website. In cases where the participants did not like some aspect of the design the site was often not explored further than the homepage and was not considered suitable for revisiting at a later date…The main reason that websites were rapidly rejected was due to the design of the interface. Design issues affected first impressions and could lead to the mistrust of a website.
  • Design has a significant impact on website visitors. Not only does it affect them, but as this study shows, it is the most influential factor in whether people trust or mistrust a site. Design elements as simple as color, layout, text block size, and navigation can make a difference when trying to increase conversions online.
Customer Perceptions and Packaging Design
Web design is similar to packaging design for consumer goods. In both cases, people pay for the product or service, but they’re also influenced by the “packaging.”
Packaging matters a lot because it provides a customer’s first impression with a brand.
In the Hormel logo, adding a sprig of parsley between the ‘r’ and ‘m’ cause’s customers to perceive the products as being more fresh. Packaging impacts customer impressions so much, the perceived quality and taste of the products can be affected.
This is true for packaged goods, and it’s true for websites.
The application for web design
A website’s design often provides the first impression customers have of a company. If the design is outdated, disorganized, cluttered, or uses unappealing colors, it creates a poor first impression.
“Customers would trust the new site because we would assume that if they have enough money to produce a nice looking website, they have enough money to pay for more security.”
“I would buy from the [new] one. The [old] site looks too simple, almost as it was thrown together quickly, and it [has] too many icons down the right column which gives me a slight feeling that it may not be legitimate.” Based on these answers and the studies above, good web design has a significant impact on potential customers.
If you’re about to build a site or if you’re considering a redesign of a current one, it’s not necessary for your website to be the most beautiful site online, but it does need to look good. It needs to convey quality and professionalism with an organized, uncluttered layout, good use of appealing colors, and text blocks that are easy to read.
These studies show that it’s worthwhile to invest in a good web design because in the end, customer perception is what really matters.