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?
One field, in particular, stands out when talking about Credibility. That field is the news. How better to have a discussion on Quick-UX and Credibility than to see it in action, applied to products that deliver the, hopefully trustworthy, news.
Today, we will take an interesting look at the first of a set of three Technology and Web Blogs with Average Credibility values, from 0.45 – 0.625.
Example 1: TechCrunch
TechCrunch establishes a baseline against which many other online tech/web news sources can be compared, from its (somewhat) recent redesign to improve such aspects as Usability and Desirability, to its Credibility.
This product, beyond the fact of not presenting any obvious typos, has taken some positive strides in bolstering its Credibility.
The easy to locate Contact page…
… clearly provides both form and email contact information for tips, suggestions, and company profiles.
The About Us page is outstanding, from the brief history of the company…
… to the presentation of scale and larger scope of the Crunch Network community…
… to, even more importantly, the TechCrunch team.
There are pictures and bios for almost everyone on the team, providing a tangible sense of the real people behind the company, allowing for the product’s users to put a face, and a credible biography, to the name.
Some team members provide LinkedIn information, others Flickr pictures or a link to a Twitter account. The diversity of content creates a more organic, more sincere environment and product tone.
However, one elemental component missing is any means to truly connect directly with any one of the individuals — to discuss issues or just connect with the real person.
TechCrunch, with a Quick-UX Credibility value of 0.45, represents a great example of how Quick-UX Credibility can set a baseline for comparison between companies, or a directional focus for a product’s self-improvement. Many other elements can come into play, depending on the market space of that product. Credibility can grow or shrink based on such additional factors as the generated content as well as the product’s community participation
However, for someone new to the product, trying to determine how Credible the news is and the flavors of biases behind the stories and site, TechCrunch would greatly benefit from building a stronger foundation of Credibility, starting with these basic elements…
- Provide telephone contact information, to complement the already provided basic contact information,
- Display a physical office address, showing that the company exists in the real world, especially since it now really does,
- Provide a more robust means by which the individuals behind the company can be contacted directly.
Quick & Useful
Quick-UX Credibility is a measure of the starting point, the foundation of a product’s Credibility. How products, and the people behind them, strengthen, or erode, their trustworthiness through their subsequent actions governs the Credibility imparted to the product’s consumers over time, through extended exposure to the product. However, this extended exposure is only achievable after these products have successfully enticed and converted their visitors into returning readers, by way of a comprehensive User Experience, in significant part due to an initial demonstration of sound and, in these examples, Average Credibility.
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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