Pretty websites more popular with surfersPublished On: Tue, Jul 12th, 2011 | Internet | By BioNews
Websites that are more appealing create a greater feeling of trustworthiness and professionalism among consumers.
Despite a rash of online scams and malicious websites, internet consumers are 20 percent more trusting of websites than they were five years ago, says a new study by the University of Melbourne.
Brent Coker from the Faculty of Business and Economics, who led the study, said the increase in online consumer trust is largely linked to the visual appeal of websites.
“As aesthetically oriented humans, we’re psychologically hardwired to trust beautiful people, and the same goes for websites,” Coker says.
“Our offline behaviour and inclinations translate to our online existence. As the internet has become prettier, we are venturing out, and becoming less loyal,” says Coker, according to a Melbourne statement.
Coker developed a formula, ‘Webreep’, to track patterns and trends in online behaviours and purchasing.
It creates a score for 130 website industries based on seven dimensions of quality: visual appeal, trustworthiness, ease of use, search quality, information quality, information relevancy and load speed. Webreep started mapping the internet in 2007.
According to Coker, the research can have a profound impact on the future of e-commerce.
“The biggest source of frustration is the inability to find relevant information on a website,” he says.
“The best way to stop defection to other websites, and increase loyalty, is to be interesting. Being pretty, but with nothing to say, is not enough,” he adds.
The research found that if a website has poor navigation or access to information, or is slow (that is, more than two seconds to download), web surfers are more likely to opt against purchasing and navigate to an alternate website.
These findings were presented at the 2011 World Congress in Computer Science, Computer Engineering, and Applied Computing, in Las Vegas.