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How Do People Evaluate a Web Site's Credibility?

As the Internet continues to grow, users are increasingly faced with the problem of evaluating the trustworthiness of Web sites. This paper presents the results of two studies conducted to determine how people approach this situation. The researchers "gathered the comments people wrote…about each site's credibility and analyzed these comments to track which features of a Web site were noticed (or went unnoticed)" when considering credibility. Eighteen aspects of Web site design are ranked according to their importance as reported by the study's subjects. The results are quite surprising, because many of the critical items were rated lower than the more aesthetic ones.
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