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Website Trustworthiness Conceptual Model

SAIS 2015 Conference Presentation

Karthikeyan Umapathy

on 23 March 2015

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Transcript of Website Trustworthiness Conceptual Model


Chris LaValley
Student at UNF
Jacksonville Sheriff's Office
Conceptual Model of Website Design Elements that Influences Credibility and Trustworthiness









Associate Professor
School of Computing
University of North Florida
Jacksonville, FL
Karthikeyan Umapathy
Research-in-progress Paper
Why Study Trustworthiness of Websites
We use websites for variety of purposes on daily basis. We share personal and financial information using websites.

There are abundance of competitive websites vying for visitors attention.
Not all websites conjure feeling of trust or credibility.

We rely on our first impression (visual senses of the site) to accept or reject a web page.
It is this phenomena that inspires the pursuit to discover what design elements actually appeal to the visitor and instill trustworthiness.

Website designers are not aware of what design element influences trustworthiness.
Knowing which design elements can promote either a rejection or acceptance can be key to visitor retention and, furthermore, sales.
Website Trustworthiness
It is essential for businesses to design a web page that effectively grabs and retains attention of a visitor.
Influences visitor's perception of whether business can deliver promised goods/ services and overall confidence of the business capabilities.

Having knowledge on which elements influences trustworthiness can help designers with creating very effective site design that can give a business the competitive edge.
Knowing which design elements can promote either a rejection or acceptance can be key to visitor retention and, furthermore, sales.
The primary goal is to establish design elements that are most effective at instilling trust and credibility while at the same time grabbing and attaining visitor’s attention.
By assimilating the research data from work in this area, certain design elements will become apparent that will be essential for web page design that encourages visitor retention and engagement in terms of deeper web page activity such as product purchase.
Research Objective
The primary goal is to establish which design elements are most effective at instilling trust and credibility while at the same time grabbing and attaining the visitor’s attention.
We conduct comprehensive literature review not only from a trust aspect but also in visual design of web pages.
By assimilating the research data from work in this area, we hope to identify influences of design elements on deeper web page activity such as product purchase.

In this research-in-progress paper, we aim to
develop a conceptual model
based on the assembled data to portray relationships among website design elements, trust, and credibility.
Long-term objective is to develop a web page design framework that aides designers with development of effective sites that engages visitors in intended activities.
Conceptual Model
Conceptual model is a product of systematic qualitative analysis of multidisciplinary knowledge sources performed to gain better understanding of a phenomenon.
Conceptual model is
interrelated concepts that together provides comprehensive understanding of a phenomenon
... articulates 'the nature of reality' within a phenomenon
... explains 'how things really works' within a phenomenon
A concept consists of a set of attributes which defines them.
Every concept is in relation to the phenomenon under study, to other relevant concepts, and to its own attributes.

Concepts and attributes are identified through a systematic synthesis of findings from multiple bodies of knowledge such as peer reviewed research articles.
Conceptual Model Methodology
Conceptual framework analysis procedure describes grounded theory based approach to build conceptual frameworks utilizing comprehensive literature reviews (Jabareen 2009).

Conceptual framework analysis procedure consists of following steps:
(1) conduct extensive literature review on the phenomenon and identify relevant literature
(2) read comprehensively identified literature
(3) discover concepts from literature
(4) deconstruct and categorize the concepts
(5) group similar concepts into same concepts
(6) synthesis and re-synthesis concept groupings to build a framework that helps in making sense of the phenomenon
(7) validate the conceptual framework by presenting to stakeholders
(8) rethink the conceptual framework to keep it up to date
Website trustworthiness can be described as
willingness of a visitor to take part
in a transaction with a business
Trust can include two dimensions: credibility and benevolence
Credibility refers to the
degree to which the visitor trust information provided
in the site.
Associates with perception of whether the business has required expertise to perform the job effectively and deliver the promised goods reliably.
Relates to visual design of the site.
Benevolence refers to the
degree to which the visitor believes that business is interested in visitor’s welfare and motives
to seek mutual gain
Associates with business’s ability to protect visitor’s personal and financial information from potential loss to hackers
Relates to privacy and security concerns
Visual Appeal
First impression of a site influences a visitor’s decision to continue exploring the site or leave the site.
Visual appeal design elements are the important tools designers have to impress and convert site visitors into a user who is willing to stay, browser, and be a frequent user.
Visitors can assess visual appeal of a site within 50ms, thus, designers have about 50ms to make a good first impression.
Designers need to understand which design elements can be incorporated to create visually appealing pages for their constituent visitors.
Color schemes and multimedia content are the major sub-concepts of visual appeal concept
Color Scheme
Color and Culture
Demographics and Generational Groups
Color schemes was determined to be a significant determinant for website trust and satisfaction
Cry et. al. (2010) study shows cultural aspects play a role in which color schemes have an impact on consumer perceptions
Germans and Japanese preferred blue color scheme
But Japanese saw blue as less preferable than Germans
Canadian preferred grey
Germans, Canadians and Japanese did not prefer yellow
Yellow was considered “showy” or “too friendly”
Reinecke and Gajos (2014) study findings reveal that
Females liked colorful websites more than males
Generation Y individuals (born from 1982 to 2000) prefer colorful websites
Neighboring countries have similar preference on colorfulness
High education level lowers preference for colorfulness
Multimedia Content
Graphics and Generational Groups
Djamasbi et al. (2010) study shows that Generation Y individuals prefer web pages that includes
a main large image, minimal text, images of celebrities, and a search feature
Large image element plays an important role in the formation of an impression regarding the page.

Designers should adjust the size of objects and add pictures to help cue the viewer into focusing on page elements
Multimedia to text ratio
Lindgaard et al. (2011) study reveals pages that contain
ample graphics, modest amount of text, good balance
(distribution of size, color, and location of visual objects),
and moderate contrast
(degree of difference between elements in size, color, and location) were deemed to be trustworthy.
However, density density (ratio between area of the background and the area covered by the element) and symmetry (visual composition across vertical or horizontal axis) elements did not play a role in influencing trustworthiness.
Visual Complexity
Visual complexity refers to the amount of visual variations in the content and organization of content varieties displayed.
Plays a decisive role in forming a good first impression of the site.
Low to moderate visual complexity
are known to create favorable attention, attitudes, and intentions from visitors.

Tuch et al. (2009) study shows that website design with low visual complexity, specifically for home page, helps in improving visitor’s perceived pleasure, remembering the site, and performing tasks like searching.

Visual Diversity and Visual Richness are the major sub-concepts of visual appeal concept
Visual diversity of a website refers to the number of distinguishable elements and dissimilarity between elements
Visual Diversity
Designers should be aware of the level of element diversity used within each page as it influences a visitor’s perception of visual complexity and in turn their attention to targeted elements.
Geissler et al. (2006) reveal that pages with low and moderate element diversifications were effective in influencing visitor's attention to targeted elements, their perception of complexity, and their trust.
Visual Richness
Deng and Poole (2010) findings show that
Pages with high complexity created unpleasant emotions and did not have led to intended behaviors like making a purchase.
Sites with low complexity created pleasant emotions and had carry over effects on intended behaviors.

Deng and Poole (2010) also investigated whether influence on visitor’s emotional response and behavior depends upon visitor’s metamotivational states such as telic state (goal oriented mindset) or paratelic state (excitement seeking mindset).
Participants in telic (goal oriented) state felt more pleasant and had higher tendency for intended behaviors towards web pages with low visual richness
Paratelic (excitement seeking) state participants were more receptive to webpages with high visual richness.
Website aesthetics plays a crucial role in influence overall user experience including usability of the site and perceived trust.

Aesthetics can be categorized into two dimensions:
classical aesthetics and expressive aesthetics
Classical aesthetics refers to pleasant, orderly, clear, clean, and symmetrical design of a website.
Classical aesthetics provides visual clarity for visitor
Classical Aesthetics
Classical Aesthetics
Tuch et al. (2010) study examines effects of web page symmetry on website aesthetics by taking gender differences into account.
Participants considered vertical symmetric pages (i.e., symmetrical along vertical axis) to be aesthetically pleasing
Asymmetric pages were consider less beautiful
Men were more unfavorable to asymmetric pages in comparison to female participants

Designers need to take gender difference into account while creating target audience preferred aesthetics look for the website.
Web page symmetry
Cyr (2008) study finding indicates that navigation schemes influences trust and satisfaction, however, this relationship is mediated by culture.
Americans and Europeans prefer navigation to enhance their movement within the site
Asians prefer navigation schemes to change appearance of the site.
Djamasbi et al. (2010) eye-tracking study focussed on element placement in web pages
Top left corner of the screen received most fixation
Second most fixation was on navigation or internal links area
Viewer may look for navigational references for basic orientation when first viewing the page
The fixations were heavily concentrated toward the top of the page and tapered off toward the bottom
Within the first five seconds of the initial view, the bottom portion of the page, that below the fold, received none.
Large text and images consistently had high levels of fixations
Element Placement
Element Order
Element order refers to order and relationship in which different design elements are displayed in a page
Presenting contents using a logical organization, by grouping similar elements, and by contrasting between dissimilar elements.

Deng and Poole (2010) examined influence of element order on visitor’s emotional reaction and ability to facilitate intended behaviors.
Pages with low ordering (free-form layout of elements without any sense of logical organization) created unpleasant emotions and did not have led to intended behaviors like making a purchase
Sites with high ordering (layout design pattern along with grouping of similar elements and differentiation of dissimilar elements) created pleasant emotions and had carry over effects on intended behaviors
Participants in telic (goal oriented) state felt more pleasant and had higher tendency for intended behaviors towards webpages with high ordering
Participants in paratelic (excitement seeking) state participants were more receptive to webpages with low element ordering
Moys (2014) studied impact of layout style associated with low, moderate, or high typographic differentiation on reader judgment.
High typographic differentiation (tight spacing with no or little prominent white space) were considered to be attention-grabbing, sensationalist, and youthful (appealing to younger readers).
Moderate differentiation (an equal use of white space and tight spacing) was considered academic, formal, and serious
Low differentiation (salient use of white space and had both characters and lines generously spaced) was considered calm

Designers need to use combination of typographic layout, color and white space to elicit favorable impressions of the site and to the material being presented.
Expressive Aesthetics
Expressive aesthetics refers to designer’s creativity such as originality, fascinating design and using special effects
Helps in visitor perceiving the creativity and originality of the site design
Typographic Differentiation
Brand Identity
Branding is crucial for any business as products with strong brand equity enjoy an immediate trust gain in an online environment.

Brand identity refers to how a brand would be perceived
Brand identity traits can be embedded into a website using visual guidance, which refers to grouping, coloring, and positioning text, graphics, and multimedia elements to allow users to easily locate, recognize, and read the content.

Yang and Bolchini (2014) study reveal that
high visual guidance
helps in increasing brand identity
Females are more influenced than males in regards to role of visual guidance for brand identity

Designers should be creating brand identity using the site to influence trustworthiness.
The exploration of web page interaction and its design makeup can provide a means to understand the factors that elicit feelings that conjure the perceptions of trustworthiness and credibility.
This in turn would provide the basis for effective design to attract and retain visitors

Several research studies have been conducted on website trustworthiness, however, these studies have been scattered, if not, focused on one or two concepts of trustworthiness.

We presented preliminary (incomplete, work-in-progress) conceptual framework for understanding which website design elements that promotes trustworthiness and credibility
Thank You!
UNF is 2015 NCAA Atlantic Sun Conference Championship
It is
... NOT a theoretical framework as it does not provide theoretical explanation
... NOT a research model as it does not enable outcome prediction
Element Diversification
Quantity of Each Element
Visual richness refers to quantity of each design element displayed in the page
As a part of future work,
Expand on design element concepts and develop a holistic model that provides necessary information for web designers to understand which design element affects which aspect of trustworthiness.
Validate the conceptual model using expert website designers (Delphi method and Survey methodology)
Full transcript