The Credibility of a product is absolutely critical, whether it is coming from a brand-new startup, or an established corporation. There is a great deal that goes into the Credibility of a product, from the people that hype it, to its visual presentation. However, there are a few basic elements that go directly to the foundational aspects of product Credibility upon which the rest of the product’s truthfulness is built.
Quick-UX provides for the rapid, simple and quantifiable assessment of a product’s User Experience (UX). In answering the question of Usefulness, "Should I use it?" the sub-category of Credibility is one in the frequent discussion of cautious engagement, especially in the ever increasing, in both frequency and size, waves of introductions of online products.
Establishing and maintaining Credibility is the removal, or minimization of concerns arising from these types of questions. Many elements (design, accuracy, usability, timeliness, advertising, etc.) contribute to the positive, or negative, perception of overall product Credibility, but for Quick-UX’s evaluation we assess only the most elemental. For a refresher of the Quick-UX Credibility Rubric visit: Quick-UX & Credibility: Do you believe?
Today, we will look at an example of a product with No Credibility, with a value of 0.0.
On many fronts, from concept to style, Likexo has many things going for it. But, in the area of Credibility, it falls very flat.
On first blush, the site starts out OK. The design is fairly clean, not overly complex. As with any website, the new user approaches with skepticism and some very basic questions,
Who is behind it?
What is their motive?
Where are they located?
Is this for real?
The most common place to start is by taking a quick peek at the ‘About Us’ page.
Once arriving, it can be quickly concluded there may be something to learn about the product, but very little to learn ‘about us,’ the team that stands behind this product. As a matter of fact, there is nothing to learn about the individuals…
who they are,
where they are, or
how to contact them (by email and/or by phone).
This is a great way to sow the seeds of distrust — creating more disconcerting questions.
Is the team embarrassed by the product?
Are they unwilling to stand behind their product? Why?
Is their an ulterior motive? a nefarious relationship?
As with all products, the consumers of these products want to see that you take the time and care in both the creation and presentation of your own product. As the creator of a product, you can only hope that your users care about your product as much as you do.
However, when you demonstrate a lake of attention to detail, through typos, poor grammar, bad formatting, etc., the visitors to this product can only ask…
If the people behind this product don’t care about it, WHY SHOULD I?
Indeed, this very appropriate question raises some very large concerns on the product’s Credibility (even larger when taken into account with all the other foundational Credibility misses already discussed).
On the lesser of the typographical issues, a visitor can observe poor paragraph formatting and missing periods littered throughout the FAQ page.
Perhaps the most egregious of the form of typo that can occur within any product that will always have a detrimental impact on Credibility are those that have to do with the company’s name. The company name is inconsistently formatted on the About Us page. In one instance, within adjacent sentences, the duality of capitalization can be seen as…
"Likexo is a social network oriented to the likes of the people. Therefore, the profile of a person for likexo is not his/her career, the school attended or if he/she has a girlfriend/boyfriend: your profile is your likes."
On the About Us page, the formatting of ‘likexo’ is used heavily, while back on the FAQ page, ‘Likexo’ is the predominant spelling, with the occasional ‘likexo’. If you want people to believe in you, demonstrate that you have taken the care to know who you are, and that you know how to format your own product’s name.
On the positive side, it is great that they have blog and twitter accounts.
These represent a slight bend in the right direction. However, even on these fronts there are no obvious ways to reach out with any sense of connecting with a real person. There are no names of real people, nor any sense of personalized discussion — just very corporate, non-informal speak.
As the Likexo/likexo user starts to investigate, and check on the trustworthiness of the organization, attempting to understand who or what is behind it, they are left with every single question that existed at the beginning of their search for Credibility.
Some very basic steps can be taken in laying the foundation for this product’s Credibility. They are:
- Clean up the typos and formatting. Be consistent in the usage of language and grammar.
- Provide methods to be contacted, by email, by phone.
- Provide the company’s physical address. Prove that this is a real company.
- Show that there are real people behind this product, that care about this product, that are working on this product. Display bio’s and pictures of these real people. Provide ways for users to reach out to these real people.
Altogether, these simple tips can move this product from a Credibility value of 0 (No Credibility) to a 1 (High Credibility).
Another bit of advice, regarding the product’s ever present advertising. While advertising does not impact the Quick-UX Credibility value, its use throughout Likexo is excessive and poorly integrated in the design and flow of the site, negatively impacting the overall User Experience, and, in-turn, the overall Credibility of a serious website.
This implementation of advertising begs the question, are they trying to provide a value-added service, or simply exist as yet another vehicle whose primary purpose is to cram down as much advertising as possible in this new format. — Not a question a new product, seeking to credibly establish itself within the hyper-competitive online world wants on the table, but one which can also be rapidly addressed.
Quick & Useful
Over the next few weeks I will be exploring and ins-and-outs of Credibility, walking through real-world examples of the Quick-UX evaluation of Credibility …
Subscribe now (click here) to make sure you don’t miss any part of this series exploring the Usefulness and Credibility components of Quick-UX, the quick and easy method of generating quantifiable and comparable metrics representing the understanding of the overall User Experience of a product, as well as other insightful posts from The Product Guy.
The Product Guy
UPDATE: Likexo recently contacted me to let me know that this article lead to very meaningful improvements in their product. And they are right. (Read more)
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