“To be persuasive we must be believable; to be believable we must be credible; to be credible we must be truthful.”—Edward R. Murrow
Users approach most products with an expectation of honesty. Things should do what they say, behave in an expected manner and reinforce their decision to use this product/service/website. The interface is your opportunity to gain their trust and confidence while helping them make sense of what they can and cannot do. The proximity of actionable items to corresponding descriptive text, the tone of your copy, the labels on form elements—all of these things are the means by which we build subconscious level of credibility with the user.
Whenever elements of the interface are confusing, misleading or even suspicious, the users’ trust will begin to erode. When even the slightest hint of bad behaviour sneaks in, the user has already begun to withdraw from further interaction….

April 26, 2010