Increasing your users’ confidence

25th April 2018 / by Richard Gray

Yesterday I had cause to visit the local branch of my bank, which to be fair I do relatively infrequently. As with most banks there was a line of tellers behind a wall of glass with a queuing area immediately in front.

There was no-one queuing in front of me but all the tellers were busy and so I looked for a sign saying something like “please queue here”.

There wasn’t one.

It’s such a small thing, but now I didn’t know where I should stand, so I picked an end and hoped it was the right one. I felt uncomfortable – was I doing the right thing? Was I in the right place?

After having been seen I had to wait in the branch for a countersignature and so I took a seat and observed other customers having exactly the same moments of doubt that I had had as they entered the branch. Where should they go? Where should they stand? Each hesitantly approached the queuing area with the same look of doubt and lack of confidence that they were right.

And it was an issue that could so easily be fixed – just put up a sign saying “queue here” or “queue this end”. Remove all doubt from a customer’s mind that they’re doing the right thing or are in the right place and you suddenly have happier and more confident customers.

It’s the same with websites – ensure that users, when they first arrive on your site, know straight away what they’re supposed to do and, importantly, where they’re supposed to start.

Maybe you don’t need a sign which says “click here to begin” (ok – please don’t do that) but signposting sections with labels which make sense (to them remember – not just you – to them) will help.

Allow your customers to explore by giving them confidence in your product by making them feel comfortable when they arrive.

It’s the small things that can make the biggest difference.

Rich's Rants

Why do the same thing twice?

Asking your users to do the same thing twice just makes them annoyed and adds risk to the process.

Put things where people expect to find them

Like small children and lost toys, your website should put things where people expect to find them.

Don't confuse with colour

Putting aside the colour blindness issues of using colour to illustrate state, for those of us who aren't colour blind, please use colour in a way that makes sense.

Why apostrophes matter

I was asked one morning whether I thought that using apostrophes correctly really mattered.

Show you care

Show your users that you care about the small things and it will show that you care about the big things too.

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