A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words: Source Credibility Theory Applied to Logo and Website Design for Heightened Credibility and Consumer Trust
International Journal of Human-Computer Interaction, vol. 30(1), pp. 63-93
77 Pages Posted: 5 Jun 2013 Last revised: 1 Apr 2014
Date Written: June 1, 2013
Websites are often the first or only interaction a consumer has with a firm in modern commerce. Because consumers tend to make decisions within the first few seconds of online interaction, the first impression given to users can greatly determine a website’s success. Leveraging Source Credibility Theory (SCT), we present a strategy for building credibility derived from a user’s initial impressions of a website, in online environments. We demonstrate that logos designed to communicate traits of credibility (i.e., expertise and trustworthiness) can trigger positive credibility judgments about the firm’s website, and that this increase in perceived credibility results in greater trust and willingness to transact with the firm. We additionally demonstrate distinct effects on consumers’ distrusting beliefs. The positive trust effects are magnified when the design of a website extends and complements the credibility-based logo design. Our practice-supporting model further indicates how website designers can methodically design logos and websites that nonverbally communicate credibility information within the first few moments of a website interaction.
Keywords: e-commerce, internet retailing, logos, credibility, surface credibility, logo design, branding, website design, trust, distrust, online consumers, online marketing, e-commerce, source credibility theory
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