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

Paul Benjamin Lowry

The University of Hong Kong - School of Business

David Wilson

University of Arizona - Department of Management Information Systems

Bill Haig

Powerlogos Design

Date Written: June 1, 2013

Abstract

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

Suggested Citation

Lowry, Paul Benjamin and Wilson, David and Haig, Bill, A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words: Source Credibility Theory Applied to Logo and Website Design for Heightened Credibility and Consumer Trust (June 1, 2013). International Journal of Human-Computer Interaction, vol. 30(1), pp. 63-93. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2273535

Paul Benjamin Lowry (Contact Author)

The University of Hong Kong - School of Business ( email )

Meng Wah Complex
Pokfulam Road
Hong Kong
China

David Wilson

University of Arizona - Department of Management Information Systems ( email )

AZ
United States

Bill Haig

Powerlogos Design ( email )

2943 Kalakaua Ave.
Honolulu, HI 96815
United States

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