People’s perception of web credibility has changed over time. According to Fogg’s data (2003, p. 154), there are two potential features which reduce credibility of websites: Self- appeal and automatic features.
Firstly, users might find websites in which companies appeal their own accomplishments less credible. In the findings of Fogg’s studies, people appreciate less site that ‘…displays an award it has won’ or ‘the site lists author’s credentials for each article’ (the score of credibility dropped down more than 0.5 points in both websites). This is possibly because these days false awards or identification are easy to manufacture, and they do not secure any credibility.
Secondly, web users will find a site less credible when they sense automatic features operating on a website. This can be seen from the score of ‘the site [that] provides a quick response to your customer service questions’ falling down from 2.0 to 1.8. In addition, the score of ‘the site sends emails confirming the transactions you make’ also dropped off for 0.6 points. On the contrary, more users appreciate websites which are updated frequently, or sites that show photographs of the organization’s members. This shows that people does not trust automatic functions of websites but tend to prefer the sense of the actual existence of humans behind website.
In conclusion, there are two features which can reduce credibility of website: self- appealing and automatic features. Web designers have to pay attention to these factors to ensure they are viewed as credible.
Fogg, B. J. (2003). Credibility and the World Wide Web. In Persuasive Technology: Using Computers to Change What We Think and Do. Amsterdam: Morgan Kaufmann Publishers.