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.
Many different types of company products present their own issues of Credibility and the questions that they immediately invoke in visitors.
Some questions that come to mind in a…
…startup’s product are…
- Is this company going to be around? Are they still around?
- Can they be trusted with my personal info?
- Can I trust them to pay as much, or more, or less, attention to me as they did their own product? (especially relevant if there are mistakes, typos, etc.)
- Will someone be there if I have a problem?
…news / opinion product are…
- How do I know if the opinion is, or is not, coming from the organization that owns the product being recommended?
- Do I have the information necessary to assess any potential site / author bias?
…e-commerce product are…
- Can I trust them with my credit card and home address?
…financial product are…
- Is this information (e.g. numbers, quotes, values) accurate?
- Can they be trusted with my money?
- If there is a problem can I contact someone? Can I speak with someone?
…non-profit’s product are…
- Is this company legitimate?
- Can I speak with them?
- Who represents this organization?
- What is the reputation of this nonprofit (as well as the reputations of the people behind it)?
Care & Verify
Basically, in an evaluation of a product’s Credibility…
- with what care have the product’s claims been made, and
- how many of those claims am I empowered and / or able to independently verify.
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.
There are some very basic measures of Credibility that can be easily and quickly determined for Quick-UX, as well as in the broader and ever changing world of online products. The Credibility variable is assigned its value via summation. The minimum value of Credibility is 0, or none. The Credibility variable adds…
- 0.15 if no obvious typos are found throughout the product,
- 0.175 if email contact information is provided,
- 0.175 if telephone contact information is provided,
- 0.25 if a physical address for the location of the business is provided,
- 0.125 if there is an “About Us” page that contains bios about the members of the team behind the product, and
- 0.125 if, on the “About Us” page, alongside the Bios, direct contact information to each of the individuals listed can be found.
Quick & Useful
Taken all together, these variables (Functional Expectations, Error Management, Product Differentiation, Findability, and Credibility) represent the Usefulness category of Quick-UX for the evaluated product. When looking at an entire product, the question “Should I use it?” represents only 1 of the 3 core components (Usability, Usefulness, Desirability) of a Quick-UX evaluation – a sure-fire, rapid way to obtain concrete and comparable means by which to assess a single product or compare its strengths and weaknesses to other products.
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.
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