The Credibility Conundrum: Can Design Build Trust?

How to build trust with design

Subject: Panic
Date: Monday, August 29, 2016

Hey Milt,

So like I said over coffee Friday, I’ve got to get a website set up fast. And it needs to looks credible! Not like I put it together in a week.

Even though that’s exactly what I need to do.

Not sure where to start.



Subject: Re: Panic

Date: Monday, August 29, 2016

Hey Frank,

Well, the good news is that you’re aware that it needs to look credible. A lot of people never get to that point. They think they need to fill their website up with big promises and awesome offers, and they never think about how it looks.

Here’s the thing about your site design — it’s like it pervades every aspect of your online presence. It’s not a separate feature of your online business — it’s a thread that’s woven through everything you do online.

When your site looks good, it’s good for business.

So I’m glad to hear you’re thinking about it.

My recommendation is to go with WordPress and a premium theme. I really like the Genesis Framework from StudioPress. It’s been around for a long time. And their themes are on sale until tomorrow — so, good timing.

Here’s the link to get 30% off all their themes.

Good luck,

Subject: Re: Re: Panic

Date: Monday, August 29, 2016


Thanks for the link. Now my problem will be picking the theme I want before the sale ends tomorrow.

Or maybe I’ll just go with the Pro Plus All-Theme Package? That way I can decide later and I’ll have options.

Seems like a good deal.

Not sure what you mean by “your website design pervades every aspect of your online presence.”

Sounds ominous. Can you explain?


Subject: Re: Re: Re: Panic

Date: Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Hey Frank,

A lot of people think website design is like the icing on a cake — a nice finishing touch that’s added to make your offer look good.

But your website design plays a much more important role.

First off, you only have one chance to make a good first impression. Before people ever read your headlines or see your offer, they see the overall appearance of your website.

Depending on how it’s put together, your website is either going to draw them in or turn them away.

There’s more, but I’m heading out the door right now. Let me know if that makes sense?


Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Panic

Date: Wednesday, August 31, 2016


It makes sense, even though I’d never thought about it like this.

It’s almost like site design is a door people have to pass through before you can get them to spend time with your online offer.

I get it.

What else do I need to be thinking about? You seem to know a lot about this. Fill me in?


Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Panic

Date: Thursday, September 1, 2016

Hey Frank,

OK — moving on. Let’s say your site design convinced a user that you have credible information. They’re on your site.

What you want now is to keep them there — you want them to stick around long enough that you can deliver information, help, maybe even entertainment. Doing that builds credibility and trust before you ever make them an offer.

The problem is, if your site is too complex or confusing, they won’t stick around.

This has been proven: Nielsen Norman Group, a respected web usability research site, says websites that offer too many confusing choices suffer from “featuritis.

Websites that are both well-designed and simple tend to be easy to use. And easy-to-use sites keep users happy.

I know you’re in a hurry to make this site live. My advice?

Start with a well-designed theme. Then keep your site simple.

Good luck,


Subject: Calm

Date: Friday, September 2, 2016


Dude … I can’t believe I’m saying this, but my site is live! It didn’t take long to put together. And now that it’s done, I won’t have to spend the holiday weekend working on it like I thought I would.

I already starting sharing it with friends and family. Getting good feedback so far.

Seems like people enjoy sharing a site that looks good — makes them feel extra smart. That’s a plus I wasn’t expecting.

Thanks for all your help,


Subject: Re: Calm

Date: Friday, September 2, 2016


I think you’re going to find that you’ll get lots of shares — the thing is, it’s still pretty rare to find simple, well-designed websites that are clear and easy to use. You’d be surprised how just hitting those points is going to make your site stand out.

Here’s what I’ve found:

Inviting, engaging, shareable sites grow naturally.

Really glad you went for it! Congrats, man.

Best of luck and keep me posted,


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