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What Makes a Website Credible? BJ Fogg, Ph.D. Persuasive Technology Lab Stanford University [email_address] This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.5/ or send a letter to Creative Commons, 543 Howard Street, 5th Floor, San Francisco, California, 94105, USA.
Overview of Module ,[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object]
Introduction to Web Credibility ,[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object]
Why does Web credibility matter? ,[object Object],Creators ,[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],Consumers
Why does Web credibility matter? Few have studied this (publicly) Web has  least  credible info of any medium Web has  most  credible info of any medium Web sites are first customer contact point The Web is not going away Big money is at stake Web presence is vital for most companies Web-based info & services are common Web users can be naïve or lazy The practical bottom line: Those who can design for credibility gain a strategic advantage.
Web credibility is part of captology  ,[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object]
What is “credibility”? ,[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],trustworthiness expertise honest truthful unbiased powerful intelligent knowledgeable experienced good *Some studies have shown three or more factors +
Highly credible websites have . . . ,[object Object],perceived  trustworthiness perceived  expertise perceived  credibility +
One factor can damage credibility ,[object Object],perceived  lack of   trustworthiness perceived  expertise perceived  lack of   credibility + perceived  trustworthiness perceived  lack of   expertise perceived  lack of   credibility +
Some semantic issues ,[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object]
Questions & Discussion on Part 1  ,[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],
Overview of Module ,[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object]
Origin of the Credibility Guidelines  ,[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object]
Guideline #1 ,[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],looks matter
Research Sources for Guidelines ,[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],chi01b Title  &quot;Web Credibility Research: A Method for Online Experiments and Some Early Study Results&quot;  Authors B.J. Fogg, Jonathan Marshall, Tami Kameda, Joshua Solomon, Akshay Rangnekar, John Boyd, & Bonny Brown  Source Proceedings of ACM CHI 2001 Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, v.2. New York: ACM Press.  Online <http://captology.stanford.edu/pdf/WebCred%20Fogg%20CHI%202001%20short%20paper.PDF>  ptl02 Title  &quot;Stanford-Makovsy Web Credibility Study 2002: Investigating What Makes Web Sites Credible Today&quot;  Authors B.J. Fogg, Tami Kameda, John Boyd, Jonathan Marshall, Ramit Sethi, & Mike Sockol  Source Report from the Persuasive Technology Lab (not peer reviewed)  Online <http://captology.stanford.edu/pdf/Stanford-MakovskyWebCredStudy2002-prelim.pdf>  cww02 Title  &quot;How Do People Evaluate a Web Site's Credibility? Results from a Large Study&quot; Authors B.J. Fogg, Cathy Soohoo, David Danielson, Leslie Marable, Julianne Stanford and Ellen R. Tauber Source Consumer Webwatch online publication Online http://www.consumerwebwatch.org/news/report3_credibilityresearch/stanfordPTL_abstract.htm unp Unpublished research  Our lab has done research that is not published, such as student honors theses, class projects, and pilot studies. If we make this work public in the future, you'll find it at webcredibility.org.
Guideline #2  ,[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],we can prove it
Guideline #3 ,[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],we are real
Guideline #4 ,[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],brainiacs “R” us
Guideline #5 ,[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],warm & fuzzy
Guideline #6 ,[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],we’re accessible
Guideline #7 ,[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],small cost, big benefit
Guideline #8 ,[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],freshly baked
Guideline #9  ,[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],no sidetracks
Guideline #10 ,[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],perfect polish
Questions & Discussion on Part 2  ,[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object], 
Overview of Module ,[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object]
Insights from Web Credibility Research ,[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object]
Stanford Web Credibility Surveys ,[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object]
More about the Surveys ,[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],Sample online questionnaire Demographics of respondents 1999 Study  (n=1409) 2002 Study  (n=1649) Age  (mean) 32.6 years 35.5 years Gender 56% male, 44% female 55% male, 45% female Country 59% Finland, 41% U.S. 57% Finland, 33% U.S., 10% other Education Level  (median) College graduate College graduate Income (median) $40,000-$59,999 $40,000-$59,999 Years on the Internet  (median) 4-5 years > 5 years Number of purchases  online (median) 1-5 purchases > 5 purchases Number of hours  spent online a week (mean) 13.5 hours 14.4 hours
What boosts credibility most? ,[object Object],Score from 1999 study How score changed in 2002 study
What hurts credibility most? ,[object Object],Score from 1999 study How score changed in 2002 study
What changed from ‘99 to ‘02? ,[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object]
Questions so far?  ,[object Object]
MostCredible Study -- 2002 ,[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object]
What participants did: ,[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object]
Results -- Analysis of all comments Analyzed over 2600 comments and classified them Note that a comment could be classified in more than one category, such as a comment criticizing the visual design and doubting the accuracy of the information. Topic of Credibility Comment Incidence Design Look 46.1% Information Design/Structure 28.5% Information Focus 25.1% Company Motive 15.5% Usefulness of Information 14.8% Accuracy of Information 14.3% Name Recognition & Reputation 14.1% Advertising 13.8% Bias of Information 11.6% Tone of the Writing 9.0% Identity of Site Sponsor 8.8% Functionality of Site 8.6% Customer Service 6.4% Past Experience with Site 4.6% Information Clarity 3.7% Performance on a Test 3.6% Readability 3.6% Affiliations 3.4%
More results are available online. ,[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object]
Example: Health websites in study ,[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object]
A health website with high credibility “ Addresses important issues” “ Lack of marketing copy makes it more credible” “ Laid out in a very matter-of-fact manner” “ Very professional looking” “ Gov affiliation makes it credible” “ Site owners don’t have ulterior motives for presenting the information” “ The vocabulary seems to come from more of an expert” “ It looks like it’s intended for doctors and researchers, not for everyday consumers of medical services -- this boosts its credibility.” What people said
“ I tried to find information from this website, but had trouble” “ Lack of the sources for the info presented” “ Too many ads” “ Online greeting cards don’t seem very health-oriented” “ it seems like it is commercialized ” “ Pop-health look and feel, like one of those covers at the Safeway magazine rack.” “ Changing of url to thriveonline.oxygen.com makes me immediately think it’s a sham” “ A lite health site” What people said A health website with low credibility
Results -- Overall vs Health Sites Topic of Credibility Comment All Sites % Health Sites % Design Look 46.1 41.8 Information Design/Structure 28.5 28.3 Information Focus 25.1 33.0 Company Motive 15.5 17.8 Usefulness of Information 14.8 20.5 Accuracy of Information 14.3 18.7 Name Recognition & Reputation 14.1 10.9 Advertising 13.8 21.3 Bias of Information 11.6 14.8 Tone of the Writing 9.0 8.3 Identity of Site Sponsor 8.8 9.1 Functionality of Site 8.6 8.3 Customer Service 6.4 0.4 Past Experience with Site 4.6 2.1 Information Clarity 3.7 6.0 Performance on a Test 3.6 1.7 Readability 3.6 3.5 Affiliations 3.4 5.6
Questions & Discussion on Part 3  ,[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],  
Overview of Module ,[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object]
A Deeper Understanding of Web Credibility ,[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object]
Background for P-I Theory ,[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object]
Background for P-I Theory ,[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],Note: There is some slippage. Neither is a perfect example of studying interpretation or prominence, but they are sufficiently close.
[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],Prominence-Interpretation Theory Prominence Interpretation Credibility Impact X = An element’s likelihood of being noticed when people evaluate credibility. What value or meaning people assign to element, good or bad. The impact that element has on credibility assessment. Affected by involvement (motivation & ability), content, task, experience, individual differences & more. Affected by user’s assumptions (culture, experience, & heuristics), skill, knowledge, & goals.
The key to designing for credibility “ To increase the credibility impact of a website, find what elements your target audience interprets most favorably and make those elements most prominent.” Fogg’s Maxim for Credible Design
Questions so far?  ,[object Object]
Four Types of Credibility ,[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object]
1. Presumed Credibility ,[object Object]
1. Presumed Credibility ,[object Object],[object Object],Increases credibility Decreases credibility Domain name has “.org” Info on the site is constantly updated International brand name Site has AOL domain name Info on the site is rarely updated Unknown brand name
2. Reputed credibility ,[object Object]
2. Reputed credibility ,[object Object],[object Object],Increases credibility Decreases credibility Your medical doctor referred you to this Web site. The site won an award. An authoritative Web site linked to this site. Your friend said the site was horrible.  The newspaper said the site was down for three days. A political group you don’t like endorses the site.
3. Surface credibility ,[object Object]
3. Surface credibility ,[object Object],[object Object],Increases credibility Decreases credibility Site looks professional. Site is from an organization you recognize. You see that articles have citations. Site looks confusing. The organization has no presence outside the Web. The site uses many animated features.
4. Earned credibility ,[object Object]
4. Earned credibility ,[object Object],[object Object],Increases credibility Decreases credibility You get a quick response to a customer service question.  You can navigate the site easily. You’ve found the content to be fair and balanced. The site has a broken link. The site takes a long time to download each page. You’ve seen factual errors on the site.
Why this framework is helpful ,[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],Presumed Credibility Reputed Credibility Surface Credibility Earned Credibility Trustworthiness Expertise
Questions so far?  ,[object Object]
Framework for Website Elements ,[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object]
Web Credibility Grid ,[object Object],Presumed Credibility Reputed Credibility Surface Credibility Earned Credibility Web Site Provider Web Site Content Web Site Design ,[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object]
Web Credibility Grid ,[object Object],Examples of elements that  increase  credibility* Web Site Provider Web Site Content Web Site Design Presumed Credibility Reputed Credibility Surface Credibility Earned Credibility The provider is a nonprofit organization. The site was created by an outside design firm. The site has ads from reputable companies. Users are familiar with the provider outside of the Web context. The provider is recognized as an expert by others. The site’s content has always been accurate and unbiased.  The site is easy to navigate. The site appears to have lots of relevant information. The content has been approved by an outside agency.  The site won an award for technical achievement. The site has a pleasing visual design. Users with questions receive quick and helpful answers. ,[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object]
Web Credibility Grid ,[object Object],Examples of elements that  decrease  credibility* The site tries to recruit advertisers but has none so far. The site has no security protocols for transactions. The site shows only a few hits on their web counter. The site’s URL does not match the provider’s name. The provider was sued for patent infringement and lost.  The site has typographical errors.  The site has links to pages that no longer exist.  The site seems to have more ads than information. The content got bad reviews from an outside agency.  The site is reported to have copied the design of another site.  The text font is either too large or small to read comfortably. The site doesn’t give contact information anywhere. ,[object Object],Presumed Credibility Reputed Credibility Surface Credibility Earned Credibility Web Site Provider Web Site Content Web Site Design ,[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object]
Questions & Discussion on Part 4  ,[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],   

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Web Credibility - BJ Fogg - Stanford University

  • 1. What Makes a Website Credible? BJ Fogg, Ph.D. Persuasive Technology Lab Stanford University [email_address] This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.5/ or send a letter to Creative Commons, 543 Howard Street, 5th Floor, San Francisco, California, 94105, USA.
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  • 5. Why does Web credibility matter? Few have studied this (publicly) Web has least credible info of any medium Web has most credible info of any medium Web sites are first customer contact point The Web is not going away Big money is at stake Web presence is vital for most companies Web-based info & services are common Web users can be naïve or lazy The practical bottom line: Those who can design for credibility gain a strategic advantage.
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  • 36. Results -- Analysis of all comments Analyzed over 2600 comments and classified them Note that a comment could be classified in more than one category, such as a comment criticizing the visual design and doubting the accuracy of the information. Topic of Credibility Comment Incidence Design Look 46.1% Information Design/Structure 28.5% Information Focus 25.1% Company Motive 15.5% Usefulness of Information 14.8% Accuracy of Information 14.3% Name Recognition & Reputation 14.1% Advertising 13.8% Bias of Information 11.6% Tone of the Writing 9.0% Identity of Site Sponsor 8.8% Functionality of Site 8.6% Customer Service 6.4% Past Experience with Site 4.6% Information Clarity 3.7% Performance on a Test 3.6% Readability 3.6% Affiliations 3.4%
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  • 39. A health website with high credibility “ Addresses important issues” “ Lack of marketing copy makes it more credible” “ Laid out in a very matter-of-fact manner” “ Very professional looking” “ Gov affiliation makes it credible” “ Site owners don’t have ulterior motives for presenting the information” “ The vocabulary seems to come from more of an expert” “ It looks like it’s intended for doctors and researchers, not for everyday consumers of medical services -- this boosts its credibility.” What people said
  • 40. “ I tried to find information from this website, but had trouble” “ Lack of the sources for the info presented” “ Too many ads” “ Online greeting cards don’t seem very health-oriented” “ it seems like it is commercialized ” “ Pop-health look and feel, like one of those covers at the Safeway magazine rack.” “ Changing of url to thriveonline.oxygen.com makes me immediately think it’s a sham” “ A lite health site” What people said A health website with low credibility
  • 41. Results -- Overall vs Health Sites Topic of Credibility Comment All Sites % Health Sites % Design Look 46.1 41.8 Information Design/Structure 28.5 28.3 Information Focus 25.1 33.0 Company Motive 15.5 17.8 Usefulness of Information 14.8 20.5 Accuracy of Information 14.3 18.7 Name Recognition & Reputation 14.1 10.9 Advertising 13.8 21.3 Bias of Information 11.6 14.8 Tone of the Writing 9.0 8.3 Identity of Site Sponsor 8.8 9.1 Functionality of Site 8.6 8.3 Customer Service 6.4 0.4 Past Experience with Site 4.6 2.1 Information Clarity 3.7 6.0 Performance on a Test 3.6 1.7 Readability 3.6 3.5 Affiliations 3.4 5.6
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  • 48. The key to designing for credibility “ To increase the credibility impact of a website, find what elements your target audience interprets most favorably and make those elements most prominent.” Fogg’s Maxim for Credible Design
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