Website credibility guidelines from Stanford University

Priit Kallas has kindly redrawn attention (and translated to Estonian) to BJ Foggs & Co’s standard website credibility guidelines here.

I too mentioned the guidelines in an old altex blog post about export website credibility (2005) but it was in fact in 2001 when I was first drawn to BJ Fogg’s work through his paper What makes Web sites credible? A report on a large quantitative study.

However great the guidelines are and please bear in mind that altex has a current active commercial relationship with BJ Fogg at Stanford University – more on that another time but BJ Fogg has been kind enough to give access to private materials etc. I also have been studying and using them long enough to know that they should be considered very much in context.

What’s credible for an Estonian website is different for an English one depending on the receiver/reader/viewer of information.

Also if you operate in financial or health markets then credibility overall is heaps more important than if you sell chairs and you might like to refer to Stanford, J., Tauber, E.R., Fogg, B.J., & Marable, L. (2002). Experts vs. online consumers: A comparative credibility study of health and finance Web sites. Consumer WebWatch Research Report.

So yes, learn from the published guidelines but bear in mind their generality and the fact they are “old”.
I have some of seen them applied when they should not have been and not applied where they should.
caveat emptor.

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