Permanent usage of pop-ups and interruptions hurt your orgas credibility

Just stumbled again upon this quote:

„Our studies showed that ads that pop up in new browser windows hurt a site’s credibility. This makes sense; people usually go to Web sites with goals in mind, and they expect the site to help them accomplish those goals. Pop-up ads are a distraction and a clear sign the site is not designed to help users as much as possible. Pop-up ads make people feel used, perhaps even betrayed.“

(Brian J. Fogg. 2003 Persuasive technology: using computers to change what we think and do)

Even though the quote mentions specifically „ads“, this is also true for newsletter subscription reminders (which may be also „ads“ in peoples perception) and other stuff which is constantly popping up and therefore interrupts people.

Suppose you go into a shop and just want to look around with no intention to buy something. What impression does it make if the store owner stands behind you, constantly asking if you want to come more often, maybe tomorrow, and despite the fact that you say no, she keeps coming back, asking again and again. This is what the pop up window does, literally. Will you ever step into this store again? And will you perhaps tell your friends about this experience and tell them how crazy they are and tell them not to go there?

And: Do you want to be this store owner?

Designing for credibility and Stanford Website credibility guidelines

Credibility is a very important factor in both: Human to human Interaction, but also when we interact with computers/technology. Unfortunately, the factor is often neglected in the latter.

As credibility is attributed to others, it is a subjectively perceived and therefore experienced quality. Nevertheless, it is not completely random and based on subjective perceptions – most people of a society agree on what is perceived as credible or not. There are key dimensions such as trustworthiness and competence based on perceived cues which play a role when it comes to an evaluation of the perceived credibility – of course depending on culture and socialization.

Websites/Apps also do good when perceived as credible. Credibility can refer to several things like the content, the messages sent, the tone of voice, the behavior of the site/app, the visual design etc. Users will make (mostly unconscious) judgements about the company’s/organizations credibility based on these factors. If a website is perceived as credible, this can increase the decision to trust your company/organization over another.

For a starting point how to design credible websites, you can use the Stanford Credibility Guidelines (see image above) which are based on solid research.

Don’t bury your website navigation on desktop behind a hamburger icon

On Desktop, people used twice as much visible navigation than hidden navigation which was buried behind a hamburger icon

„When a menu is visible across the top it’s basically advertising that the navigation is there and people are also able to see the links right away and what is offered at the website – versus when it’s collapsed. So, it’s a shame if you don’t actually show those links on desktop“

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