10 Clever Ways to Build User Trust Through Design with Examples

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    Home / Growth / 10 Clever Ways to Build User Trust Through Design with Examples

    Let's say you're visiting a foreign country. Someone comes up to you and says that the store they're working in has a discount for high-end perfumes to buy your favorite fragrance half the price.

    Would you buy it?

    Probably not.

    Because you don't know the store, you don't know if the product is original or not. It's just a bottle of liquid from a person that came up to you on the street. So why would you trust it?

    The same thing goes for your eCommerce shop or SaaS business as well. It doesn't matter how good your product is; if the customer doesn't trust that it's good, it's terrible. The perception and judgment of the customer determine the success of your business. That's why it's crucial to take the proper steps and design your store or website for trust.

    But what does "design for trust" mean?

    If you ever visited websites about UX design or watched some videos about related topics, you've probably heard the phrase designing for trust. But what does it mean?

    It means that first impressions matter. That's why you should try your best to make your product and brand appear appealing to your customers.

    To do that, you have to consider three main points:

    • Does it look professional?
    • Does it offer what the customer needs?
    • Does it feel "safe"?

    If you're applying for a job, you have to dress, talk and act professionally because first impressions matter, right? The same goes for your digital product and brand image as well. An attractive home page catches your visitors' attention and makes them consider browsing through your links.

    People search for things because they need them, whether it's information about exotic plants or a vegan recipe; when they see a link that looks like it offers what they need, they click on it. Don't get me wrong, it's tough to figure out what people want in the first place, but it's even harder to ensure them that you're able to deliver them what they need and keep your promise to do so.

    That's why making your customers feel safe is essential. Return policies, free trials, testimonials, and reviews exist because they are crucial for user trust. These are the proof that your users have meaningful interactions with your product.

    Why is User Trust so important?

    I've already mentioned that trust is the key to turning potential customers into customers, but that's not all there is. Once you establish the trust between your customers and brand, they will continue doing business with you.

    And if they're satisfied with your services and products, they would become loyal customers who would become your number one supporters and advertisers.

    There isn't a better marketing strategy than loyal customers. The network they will form will bring more customers to your business and your business will grow, and your revenue will increase.

    The more substantial customer base will ensure continued growth and customer retention.

    Since you now know why user trust is so important, I can start listing the steps to build user trust through UX designs. 

    10 Ways to Build User Trust Through UX Design

    1- Make a great first impression.

    Remember the example I gave you before. Let's make it a little different.

    Would you buy food from someone who looks like they've rolled in the dirt? No. 

    Would someone who chews gum out loud during a job interview get the job? No.

    People judge each other quickly, and it's no different for websites. According to research, it only takes 1/10th of a second to form a first impression. So it means that your website has less than a second to persuade your visitors.

    And even if they decide to sign up, there's no guarantee that they will continue purchasing your service. It all depends on the value the users expect from your products and what they think they receive from your website.

    Notice that I didn't say your product's value. 

    You can offer the best product to your customer, but if they don't know how to use it to get the maximum out of their purchase, they will churn. 

    To avoid that, user onboarding is crucial. Assisting your customers while they are new to your website and educating them about your service or product will ensure that your customers get what they expect from your services. A good user onboarding process would answer customers' questions and the questions they will probably have later. By cutting the loose ends, you will offer a better experience to your customers and lessen the burden on your customer support teams.

    A win-win situation.

    Let me tell you a story about this. Before using UserGuiding software, GrooveHR faced many issues. First, because they didn't offer efficient user onboarding, the customers needed help from customer support managers. However, working 24/7 burdened the employees and lowered their overall performance.

    I am not mentioning the cost of providing such service non-stop.

    They needed to use the power of automation and interactive in-app guidance.

    So they found UserGuiding.

    "UserGuiding helped us create in-app experiences without any coding, so I would say we're saving a lot on costs." - Qyuhn Tran from GrooveHR.

    Now they have interactive guides to educate their customers, various announcement modals to keep them updated, and so much more. 

    2- Make your users your priority

    Customer support is super important for SaaS brands. Not that it helps you strengthen the bonds with our customers, but it reflects your brand's image. A good customer support team would create a sincere and trusty brand image.

    That's why reciprocated, help-based interactions are crucial for SaaS businesses. Your staff's performance with your customers will define your business reputation, and a great reputation is a key to retaining and gaining more customers. 

    With monthly subscriptions and high customer churn rates, the SaaS industry is tricky, and customer retention is essential for growth.

    Your support team plays a key role in doing that. 

    Offering Support 24/7

    It doesn't matter what you're selling; there is another alternative to your business. 

    And your customers know that.

    If you have a SaaS business, your audience is aware of your competition for sure. They are probably constantly considering your pros and cons and searching for "better" alternatives. To avoid churn, you have to offer the best service to your customers.

    And you have to be fast.

    No one likes to wait, especially not customers. So your staff's number one priority should be answering the questions of your customer. It could be through live chats, emails, or even on the phone. 

    That's why Zakeke preferred UserGuiding. 

    "We needed to make it easy for users to onboard; find the right features they need and give the right help in the right moment."

    With a user onboarding checklist, you can follow your customers' progress and offer them help whenever they need it. Also, with customer segmentation, you can form groups to offer your customers more personalized customer support and user onboarding. 

    There are millions of negative reviews for brands with bad customer support. These reviews eventually damage your brand image as well. By perfecting your user onboarding process, you can offer a better experience for both your customers and employees.

    Enabling Users Through Self-Serve Onboarding and Support

     [use some statistics around self-serve support to explain how people prefer to do stuff themselves, and explain how businesses can use self-serve-first strategies (use our ebook) to improve user trust, use examples from our customer success stories (preferably GroveHR) ]

    3- Use a friendly design

    When people click on your website, they are looking for a solution or an option. Don't make it harder for them to reach what they want. Whether it's your product, service, or website, just make it easy to understand.

    Use bold letters, highlight the important parts, use lots of visuals to capture your users' attention. Include jokes in your blog posts, use a light tone in your product descriptions.

    I'll mention detailed suggestions in the UX design part, but just don't forget that being overall more friendly wouldn't make your brand unprofessional; on the contrary, it helps you to build trust easier. 

    4- Use SEO for your advantage

    The pen is mightier than the sword.

    The right keywords will bring you organic traffic.

    If you're in the SaaS business, you probably know what SEO means. Search Engine Optimization means optimizing your website in different ways so you can appear higher in the search results list. This will make people click on your website and increase your organic traffic.

    Many brands spend lots of money on advertisement campaigns, and all, SEO gives you results without extreme costs.

    You can use Google Search Console to find the keywords people use to find your website or other tools such as Ahrefs and SEMrush to how people form their search query when they have a problem that your product or service offers solutions for.

    5- Interview your users

    Whether it's about your old products or the upcoming ones, asking for your users' opinions will always pay off.

    Because putting in the effort to understand your potential customers and learn about their needs and preferences is a great way to build trust.

    With user interviews, you can learn:

    • Whether they like your design or not: First impressions matter, especially when it comes to building trust. Get feedback on your design; if your users like it, analyze the reasons why. If they don't like it, try to figure out ways to make it more attractive. 
    • Whether they find your product useful or not: This information is crucial because if users don't find your product useful, your product won't find its own place in the market. 
    • The features or updates that they'd like to see in your future products: This information will guide you to quickly adapt to the needs of your customers.
    • Whether they find it easy to use your product or not: With this information, you can judge your product's usability and take the correct steps to complete or redo designs. For early usability testing, a prototype would be ideal, just like a game demo.

    Well-planned and detailed user interviews are essential in making intelligent business decisions. User interviews provide you with valuable insights through feedback from your potential users.

    6- Make your brand "human."

    Yeah, robots are cool. However, they are not that trustworthy.

    The same goes with products with new technologies as well; whatever your products are, if you want to gain your users' trust, you should show them that there are actual people working behind the curtain. 

    Tech facts and numbers may be charming at first, but users will trust your product more when they see your team members' faces. This will also help you to connect with your customers and form a bond with them.

    Three guidelines out of ten of the Stanford Guidelines for Web Credibility are about people. Even with the new age of technology, social media is growing, and we're even more connected today. So don't be shy to put some faces on your website. Show that there are people creating stuff, humanize your brand.

    Below are some ways to flaunt your team and foster stronger, more human connections between your product and users.

    To do that, you can basically add a "meet the team" or "about us" page to show your members. You can include their hobbies along with their expertise to have some personality. Don't forget to add their pictures. A smile can do so much.

    7- Be consistent with your product

    People can interact with your product through dozens of platforms. It could be web, desktop, or mobile applications, third-party integrations, phone and email support, social media, landing pages, and physical products or promotions, and so on. You have to ensure consistency between these platforms for a smooth product experience for your users so you can gain their trust.

    Think from the user's perspective; if they can use your service on desktop with no problems but face the same problems on their mobile application over and over again, they would judge your brand's abilities and your product's benefits. You might think that it's a small planning mistake, but that mistake would end up as a churn.

    Users love consistency because it leaves no room for unwanted surprises. Familiarity and effortlessness create a sense of safety for users. With that, they get used to your product.

    Then they will become loyal customers because your product or service becomes a safe choice for them. It conveys familiarity and effortlessness. 

    8- Study your competition

    So far, we have only focused on your brand and product. However, there is always competition. In order to be ready against the problems you might face in the future, you should study your competition.

    How is their website? How do they onboard their users? What do they offer to their customers? What are their main advertisement campaigns? What does the latest update of their product do?

    For example, Apple Music has always had lyrics options on its music player. However, although Spotify had an agreement with Genius, they didn't show full song lyrics till the last year. Many actually switched from Spotify to Apple Music because although they have been complaining about the lack of lyrics, Spotify didn't add the option for years.

    Now Spotify has lyrics alongside Genius commentaries. But people who switched to Apple Music are already pretty happy with their product.

    It's crucial to compare yourself with your competitors and find your weak points before it's too late. This would help you to offer a better experience to your customers and retain customers.

    9- Use the right tools

    If you're a SaaS business owner, you should invest in some necessary tools. Tools are excellent to lower the pressure on your team members and get rid of unnecessary workload in the background.

    With that being said, I already mentioned how important it is to offer an efficient user onboarding process to your users. However, planning user onboarding is another task for your super busy developers. So instead of adding another task onto their shoulders, you can choose to use a user onboarding tool.

    For example, Userguiding is a no-code user onboarding software that is super easy to integrate and use. With Userguiding, you onboard your users with interactive guides and educate them about your product without hassle.

    To analyze your users and user behaviors, you can use various analytics tools. These tools can show you the way your users interact with your product, help you to understand your user journey better, and help you to take healthy steps towards establishing user trust.

    10- Improve your UX and UI 

    People say, "Don't judge a book by its cover," but still, publishing houses spend money and time perfecting the book cover designs.

    Because no matter what, people are attracted to the beautiful. It's instinctual to prefer attractive and unique designs. Of course, everyone has their own tastes, but a good UX design could attract so many customers and lead them to purchase your product or service.

    The user interface is crucial for user trust. Use appealing visuals, be consistent and innovative with your design, so people can purchase your product without any doubts.

    This is why big companies change their logos or designs. Time passes fast, and design trends come and go. You should keep track of these changes and adapt your product constantly.

    The same thing goes for UX. Get rid of confusing user flows, complex website designs that hide your best features, and usability issues that scare your potential customers.

    A bad interface full of fake buttons, dark design, and confusing wording would scare away your users.

    So what do you need to do? First, make sure that your website has:

    • Good spelling and grammar: People get annoyed when their friends make typos in their text messages. Don't think that you can get away with small mistakes. Always check your spelling and grammar on your written posts. You might even invest in a proofreader.
    • Testimonials and reviews: People trust other people. Users trust customers. When a user sees a testimonial or a review on your website, that will increase their trust because they view that review as proof. Add proof that your brand is worth it.
    • Badges: Especially for payment options, badges are a great way to tell your users that you're trustworthy and your product is secure. Badges are especially important if your site has a payment page.

    Providing your credit card information on a website takes trust. Therefore, it's essential that you abide by security standards and prove the fact that we do.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    What is User Trust?

    Trust is the most important element when it comes to decision-making. User Trust refers to users' trust for a product or a service. Ensuring user trust is crucial for revenue and growth.

    How is Airbnb designed for trust?

    Airbnb researched how people trust strangers based on their similarities (age, geography, and location). The results showed that people tend to trust those similar to them. So they used this to their advantage and matched similar people. They also have review options and offer customer support for the trust.

    How do you create trust in UX design?

    Make a great first impression, offer the best customer support, prioritize your customer, improve your UX and UI, and get feedback.

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