Web usability consultants hit Trust jackpot …

… or How a Web usability consultancy ignored the recommendations of their own trust report … a cautionary tale!!!

Last week I was pointed to a report on Trust from the Nielson Norman Group – specialists in User Experience. It discussed topics relevant to the research I am doing on user trust for e-services so I paid my $45 for a single use copy of the report.

Their recommendations included:

  1. Word of Mouth – people will accept and trust a friend’s recommendations more than a brand name
  2. Fair Pricing, Fully Revealed
  3. Provide honest information about products
  4. Remove outdated content immediately
  5. Offer free returns
  6. Access to helpful people
  7. Access to real human beings can increase trust

My ears pricked up when I read that the web sites tested were accessed over a 56k modem. It slowly dawned on me that the report was a “mere” 8 years old free pokie games online. While play online pokies a lot of user experience information is timeless, I felt cheated.

I checked – the web site did not list a publication date for the report. They had broken recommendations 2, 3 & 4. So I looked for a way to voice my issues. Damn – recommendation 7 went down as well. But wait, I could send email! I complained that their advertising was misleading and that they had broken numerous recommendations in their own report.

Sigh, you guessed it, recommendation 6 went down in flames – an unsympathetic CSR retorted that my expectations were unreasonable. It was clear that recommendation 5 was not going to be honored either and I was still going to be out my $45.

At least recommendation 1 survives. My word of mouth recommendation is that you should treat statements from this group with skepticism – caveat emptor when purchasing any reports.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>