Why design is the beginning of trust

I read this post today by Todd Henry at Accidental Creative. (As an aside, if you’re not listening to his podcast or reading his blog…you should be!)

He references the following picture that he saw while driving around his town the other day.


His contention is that, when you are asking for a great level of trust (such as turning your kids over to someone) you need to present an image worthy of that trust.

I couldn’t agree more. I think that the first step toward earning this trust, no matter the context, is quality design.

Too often, people/companies create something like that sign for their website, their marketing collateral, their tradeshow booth, or numerous other things. They make something functional, rather than appealing.

Is that sign functional? Absolutely. It tells you the number to call if you need childcare with weekend pickup. It functions to give passerby the message the owner wants to distribute. But, by simply being functional, the sign fails to build a level of trust necessary to achieve the outcome the owner may hope for.

It’s the same with all other parts of your business. You can build a website that “gets the job done.” Or, you can put the time in to make something that presents the image that you can be trusted. Plus, that same level of design can go beyond simply trust and become desire. It can take someone from feeling comfortable at the thought of working with you to wanting to work with you.

Sure, there’s more to it than than as the relationship builds, and you’ll have to keep earning that trust, but that’s the first step. Like they say, you only get one chance to make a first impression. Do you really want that impression to be “functional” or “good enough?”

Why design is the beginning of trust

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