03-07-2004, 09:33 PM
Consumer Watch Article (http://www.consumerwebwatch.org/news/report3_credibilityresearch/stanfordPTL_abstract.htm)
The data showed that the average consumer paid far more attention to the superficial aspects of a site, such as visual cues, than to its content. For example, nearly half of all consumers (or 46.1%) in the study assessed the credibility of sites based in part on the appeal of the overall visual design of a site, including layout, typography, font size and color schemes
<<Mod Edit: Matauri - horizontal scroll issue>>
03-23-2004, 08:53 AM
This topic seems to have just languished and moved on down the forum page. I think it's a fairly important issue; however, less important on a web professional's forum site, as most "pros" have moved substantially beyond some of the exceedingly amateurish looks of the truly novice website builder. However, I've certainly seen my fair share of very beginner websites presented to me in here.
Presentation will always be critical. For me, defining "professional," is problematic, as it implies "corporate" far more than any other aspect. To me, a trustworthy site has to be polished by things frequently discussed in "good" vs "bad" design topic, and most especially spelling. If the site has spelling errors in the first several paragraphs of presentation, it's been discredited. It's part of excellence. I expect neat, tidy, and an eye on excellence, but not a necessarily polished corporate look (which can imply "too expensive" for me).
Just as I rarely will shop at stores that are dirty, poorly maintained, or staffed with people who don't know the product line, I expect at least the same level with a website. There is a vast difference between Wal-Mart and Saks Fifth Avenue, but both are credible. Websites can exhibit the same range and still be credible IF the designer put some effort into site development.
Surprisingly enough, since coming into WPW, I've not only gained a higher appreciation of the range of expertises and efforts, but have also discovered just how many scams there are. I've developed an eye for shoddy business practices and now see the symptoms for them as they appear on websites. Too many links and affiliate logos is a major tipoff that I'm not dealing with a real business that will stand behind its products, as their product is page ranking and commissions.
Now, I realize that this is a controversial statement on WPW; however, it's how I view things. Perhaps, it falls into that subtle realm of "professional." I would not order from a door-to-door salesperson who carries catalog after catalog of various product lines, but doesn't stand behind any of them. And, that is how I view affiliate-based sites. Nor would I buy from someone who is ill-kempt and lacking the visual clues that they value who they are and what they do.
And, herein lies my kneejerk response to spelling errors: spelling is one of the few things that everyone has some control over, as there are many spellcheckers available. To me, it's the symptom of "professional excellence" that overrides "beginner" versus "well-established," and whether or not they will stand behind their products. Too many businesses are vying for my dollar for me to pay a whole lot attention to those who either don't care or are just playing a game.