Research shows it takes just 0.05 seconds for users to form an impression when they land on a website. That first impression is crucially important, as in that split second, users will judge the design of your site and decide whether they want to do business with you or not.

How can you make a great impression on people who visit your website in a matter of seconds, if not less? By building trust. And how can you build trust among people with little to no experience with your business brand? By implementing good UX design.

Good UX design encourages people to spend more time on a website. And the longer the better, as you want them to stick around long enough to discover how you’re going to help them by solving their pain points. When a website is aligned with the three trust values  — honesty, clear communication and user protection —it creates meaningful experiences for users, encouraging them to explore further and discover what the business has to offer.

But great UX design isn’t only about aesthetics and how you communicate your brand through the visual aspects of your site and landing pages. It’s also about user-friendly navigation and compelling content. The right layout and words help to build a sense of security and stability among users. Simple text and language help with this, as do images of products in realistic, identifiable environments being used by people users can relate to.

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What is trust?

Trust, in this regard, is the credibility built over time via repeated encounters with a website. The first of these encounters is the most important as it’s a make or break deal — either you make a positive impression on users and they return, or you fail to make a good impression and they don’t come back. Ever.

Building trust is, therefore, crucial to future interactions with a user. That means you need to convey the three trust values of honesty, clear communication and user protection with the design of your site. Let’s look at those three values a little more closely.

Honesty — Does your brand follow the law, exhibit good morals and provide users with correct and accurate information to aid the decision-making process?

Clear communication — Do your product descriptions and website content exactly match your products, i..e do your products actually do what the descriptions says they will do?

User protection — Does your brand respect the privacy and personal information of users via secure website design and features that protect personal information?

When you’re able to establish trust with the design of your website, you’ll find that users are more likely to return and engage your brand again in the future. This shouldn’t be a surprise, as you can surely think of a website that failed to instil in you even the slightest glimmer of trust. Would you want that to be your website?

It starts with a great design…

Intuitive design is an absolute must when it comes to designing a website in 2017. To make a great first impression, your website design must be intuitive and aid the user experience by simplifying navigation and saving users time.

Intuitive design is also key to better conversions as it enhances the user experience. By enabling users to complete the tasks that have brought them to your website easily and without interruption, they’re more likely to follow through on your offer. Whereas unintuitive design creates disruptions and friction, intuitive design is invisible and unnoticeable to users.

This may not seem rewarding, but the rewards will soon make themselves known. When users are effortlessly able to negotiate your site and complete the tasks they have set out to your conversion rate will escalate. And that’s the kind of reward you want to see.

Images, text and language

Speaking your target audience’s language doesn’t necessarily mean using the same words they do — especially if they’re prone to slang or poor grammar — but it does entail speaking a language that they understand. And not only with words, but images as well.

Earlier it was mentioned that images of products used by relatable people in environments helps to instil a sense of security and stability in users, which is essential to building trust. This means that images used on your site should immediately convey relatability and trust, as it takes just 0.05 seconds for people to form an impression when they land on your site.

The text and language used on your site will further instil trust or it will detract from the trust already built with relatable, trustworthy images. Along with descriptions which accurately state what your products do, the written content must be error-free (spelling and grammar) and written in simple and plain language so that everyone can understand.

Contact information is a must if your written content is to build trust, as are testimonials which are a powerful form of social proof which has been proven to increase conversions. The written and visual content on your site must be genuine and convey honesty if it’s to build trust, so don’t fake it, be yourself and encourage real customers to give testimonials.

Security is essential for trust

How safe is your users’ personal information? It’s absolutely imperative that users feel safe and secure when using a website and the quickest way to drive prospective customers (and existing customers) away is to put their personal information at risk.

It’s possible to convey a sense of privacy and security with design, but also make the most of security features like HTTPS. Along with making users feel more secure, switching to HTTPS is also great for SEO (Search Engine Optimisation), as it boosts rankings on SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages).

Google has made it clear that it prefers HTTPS sites over HTTP sites (it gives secure sites a minor ranking boost), so you’ll also increase your online visibility which will have the effect of getting your site and brand in front of more prospective customers.

Building trust is inherently possible with UX design. While your site may need a total revamp to build trust among users, in the user-experience era, the effort is well-worth the rewards.

Bambrick Media is a digital marketing company in Brisbane, providing SEO (Search Engine Optimisation), Google AdWords, Social Media Marketing and Website Design services. You can contact us here.