Internet Explorer doesn’t work well with our website. We recommend using a different browser like Google Chrome.
Building Trust using Design (Trust Series Part 2)

As a reminder, there are 4 key benefits to building trust with your audience. People who trust you are:

  1. More likely to enroll in your course (increased conversions)
  2. More motivated to complete a course (improved progress rates)
  3. More likely not to cancel or walk away (higher levels of retention)
  4. More likely to share with a friend (more and better referrals)

In our previous post we covered what elements on your landing page can help you build that trust, but what about the design?

Building trust is not just about the content of your page, the design also influences how you’re trusted by your audience. As Andrea Mearson, Creative Director at Thinkific, says: “style with substance can’t be ignored.”

Designing For Trust: Brand Indicators

The first part of designing for trust is using brand indicators. Brands build trust by using consistency and dependability to assure you that their audience’s expectations will be met. You can do the same thing for your courses in four small but significant ways:

  • A Custom URL shows your visitors that you’re a legitimate business
  • Your Logo indicates a professional organization
  • Building Style Consistency across your different web pages shows your visitors that they can depend on your brand
  • White Labelling your courses elevates your brand to your students

Designing For Trust: Humanize Your Page

People don’t intrinsically trust websites but they do generally trust human faces. Particularly, if your brand is strongly tied to an individual, make sure to leverage that as much as possible with a quality headshot.

Also, any place you can add a human element to your assets like your landing pages increases trust and engagement with your audience.

Designing for Trust: Social Proof

Having other people talk about you is more valuable than talking about yourself.

Recognizable logos and credentials are great ways to build trust with your brand, without necessarily needing a ton of engagement from your audience. That is, people might not spend a ton of time reviewing them, but their presence will increase conversions on your page by subtly indicating to your audience that other (potentially aspirational) organizations also trust you.

Similarly, testimonials don’t need to grab someone’s full attention while they’re scrolling your page, but using authentic images of others in your audience who’ve provided the testimonial make the testimonial believable. Go for quality over quantity, and show credentials with the testimonial wherever possible.

Designing for Trust: First Impressions

Research by Google has shown that first impressions make a huge impact on how likely a visitor is to trust the information it contains. They found the two biggest indicators to be:

  • Visual Complexity – keeping your page simple so as not to overwhelm a visitor; and
  • Prototypicality – how much the page matches your expectation for that type of page.

To make a great first impression use high-quality photography, make the content easy to read, use strong contrast, and build in a clear information hierarchy.

The updated Thinkific Page Builder allows you to build gorgeous, fully customized landing pages that make it easy to build trust with your audience. Sign up today and check out any of the high converting themes »

Gary Allen is the Product Marketing Manager at Thinkific where he’s passionate about building and marketing great software. He also loves napping, oxford commas, and tweets that combine more than one meme.