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 the second of a set of two products that achieved a solidly Low Credibility value of 0.325.
Each of these 0.325 scored websites leaves an incomplete feeling of Credibility, in-part due to design, marking, color choices, etc. But, overall this set of products with solidly Low Credibility were assessed low values due to a lack of fulfilling some of the most basic, and easiest to achieve, fundamental elements inherent to any quick assessment of a product’s Credibility.
Example 2: Chart.ly
Chart.ly is a "business built on top of a business built on top of Twitter," essentially a "TwitPic for stock market investors."
The benefits of this business model are in the partially inherited Credibility of all the connected businesses. Another positive can be seen in Chart.ly’s design, which is very much inline with the product that this product connects to and works with, Twitter.
Chart.ly does have a lot going for it, from the thorough support forum to the links to a couple of the founders’ Twitter accounts.
It is a boost to its Credibility to see other seemingly real people working with the product, having issues, discussing them, resolving them, etc. The UserVoice forums go far in showing that there is, at least, a real community of people using this product. It would be even better to see, and have easily conveyed to the potential user, information about the real founders and other people behind this product.
There are some well recognized names within the market space standing behind the product. However, it is unfortunate that the product does not actually explain this, or tell anything about these people/companies, anywhere.
Another mixed positive counting towards the Credibility value of Chart.ly is that on one hand, an email address is provided, but on the other hand it is associated with a completely different domain than that of Chart.ly. This discrepancy will give some users pause before either emailing or making use of the product.
Name and Password, Please
At the top of the Chart.ly’s homepage the user is prompted to login and provide their username and password. For individuals not independently familiar with the listed twitter accounts or Howard Lindzon or Timothy Sykes, providing such sensitive information to a 3rd-party service is a scary prospect to the typical consumer — most especially within a product that has not previously established its Credibility, its trustworthiness.
The professional design goes far in bolstering the case for a credible site, but without the other basic components that constitute Quick-UX’s Credibility value, even more critical in a finance oriented product, the foundation upon which the "trusting" relationship exists is a sparse one, but one that with a little bit of focused effort can be easily solidified.
One such prime example of solidifying the foundation of Credibility can be seen in having what would be commonly referred to within other products as an ‘About Us’ page. Users should not have to work to establish a product’s Credibility. The information (about, contact, corporate headquarters, etc.) should always be within easy reach.
The easier it is for the user to establish the Credibility within the product (verses searching via Google), the quicker the user can simply get to the core value being offered. Those individuals behind this product have very strong biographies and can start enhancing the Credibility of this product by making them more evident and accessible to visitors of Chart.ly.
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 …
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