Trust and URLs

28 Dec 2009 - 11:18am
4 years ago
11 replies
479 reads
Brian Mclaughlin
2008

I am fishing for some information about general public and URLs
structures.

Here is an example for me to ask my question:

Say there is a domain name of ‘fruit.com’. They deal with the general
public (not B2B).
‘Fruit.com’ wants to set up a site called ‘pear.com’.
When someone types in ‘pear.com’ they are redirected to
‘fruit.com/pear’.

Any repercussions from the users/visitors? Trust issues? Confusion?
Don’t notice?

Thanks

Comments

28 Dec 2009 - 4:14pm
Sharon Greenfield5
2008

Yes, that completely erodes trust because the user has no idea that
fruit and pear are related companies.

Additionally, with all the phishing scams out there consumers are more
and more being taught to pay attention to the domain. Heck, even my
credit union is reminding us that it doesn't matter what the page
looks like, it matter what the domain says.

To be considered 'legit' and 'not a phishing scam' I would just have
everything wrapped underneath pear.com

On Dec 28, 2009, at 8:18 AM, Brian McLaughlin wrote:

> I am fishing for some information about general public and URLs
> structures.
>
> Here is an example for me to ask my question:
>
> Say there is a domain name of ‘fruit.com’. They deal with the general
> public (not B2B).
> ‘Fruit.com’ wants to set up a site called ‘pear.com’.
> When someone types in ‘pear.com’ they are redirected to
> ‘fruit.com/pear’.
>
> Any repercussions from the users/visitors? Trust issues? Confusion?
> Don’t notice?
>
> Thanks
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
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28 Dec 2009 - 5:15pm
Brian Mclaughlin
2008

Thanks for the reply.
That is what I was leaning towards as well, but URL structure and
users is not something I have looked at in a few years.

Another way we have been looking at this is to use a subdomain like -
pear.fruit.com

We are trying to balance a complex set of pieces (as always). Part of
the balance we are trying to strike right now is what a URL looks like
and other system needs. And as part of this is the tipping point that
a URL becomes noticeable and/or untrustworthy/suspicious to the
general public.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=48094

28 Dec 2009 - 7:57pm
Jared M. Spool
2003

Brian wrote:

> Any repercussions from the users/visitors? Trust issues? Confusion?
> Don’t notice?

On Dec 28, 2009, at 4:14 PM, live wrote:

> Yes, that completely erodes trust because the user has no idea that
> fruit and pear are related companies.

I'd love to see your study data on this, because I've got a ton of
data that says 99% of the users wouldn't ever notice. Or, by chance,
is this just Your Opinion? (If so, I think it would be great form if
you said so instead of stating your opinions as fact.)

In My Opinion: most users won't notice.

It'll depend far more on the content. Why did people type in pear.com
to begin with? It wasn't a random act -- something told them to do
that. Whatever content is on the resulting page, that should match
their expectation. If it matches, they won't bother to check the URL.

You might want to check into the work of BJ Fogg and his studies on
trust and credibility online.

Jared

28 Dec 2009 - 8:10pm
Steve Baty
2009

Brian,

My own experience supports Jared's view below. A simple translation of URL
will generally not cause concerns (when noticed at all), especially if the
site & site content match the visitor's expectations going in.

Regards
Steve

2009/12/29 Jared Spool <jspool at uie.com>

> Brian wrote:
>
> Any repercussions from the users/visitors? Trust issues? Confusion?
>> Don’t notice?
>>
>
> In My Opinion: most users won't notice.
>
> It'll depend far more on the content. Why did people type in pear.com to
> begin with? It wasn't a random act -- something told them to do that.
> Whatever content is on the resulting page, that should match their
> expectation. If it matches, they won't bother to check the URL.
>
> You might want to check into the work of BJ Fogg and his studies on trust
> and credibility online.
>
> Jared

--

Steve 'Doc' Baty | Principal | Meld Consulting | P: +61 417 061 292 | E:
stevebaty at meld.com.au | Twitter: docbaty | Skype: steve_baty | LinkedIn:
www.linkedin.com/in/stevebaty

28 Dec 2009 - 8:38pm
Sharon Greenfield5
2008

Not my opinion. Thousands of research $ for an at this time unnamed
corporate shoe giant.
But I've signed papers that precludes embellishment.

On Dec 28, 2009, at 4:57 PM, Jared Spool wrote:

> Brian wrote:
>
>> Any repercussions from the users/visitors? Trust issues? Confusion?
>> Don’t notice?
>
> On Dec 28, 2009, at 4:14 PM, live wrote:
>
>> Yes, that completely erodes trust because the user has no idea that
>> fruit and pear are related companies.
>
> I'd love to see your study data on this, because I've got a ton of
> data that says 99% of the users wouldn't ever notice. Or, by chance,
> is this just Your Opinion? (If so, I think it would be great form if
> you said so instead of stating your opinions as fact.)
>
> In My Opinion: most users won't notice.
>
> It'll depend far more on the content. Why did people type in
> pear.com to begin with? It wasn't a random act -- something told
> them to do that. Whatever content is on the resulting page, that
> should match their expectation. If it matches, they won't bother to
> check the URL.
>
> You might want to check into the work of BJ Fogg and his studies on
> trust and credibility online.
>
> Jared
>

28 Dec 2009 - 8:51pm
SemanticWill
2007

My experience based on many hundreds of tests is that it really
depends on the severity of the cognitive dissonance caused immediately
begins to erode the (very little) trust a site or application has
built with the user. Mis-labelling links is one thing, first couple of
tries, the user will blame themselves for being stupid, then get
frustrated, then leave. If you going to use url shorteners - which to
me seem only appropriate in places like twitter, be darn sure you
explicitly explain what the user can expect. Even on twitter, though,
close friends can erode trust for their friends following links if a
pattern of deception emerges. This is where I go into opinion - their
are now friends on twitter that I will never follow their links, no
matter how close our personal relationships, because I have no
confidence they aren't wasting my time. My 2 cents.
~ will

"Where you innovate, how you innovate,
and what you innovate are design problems"

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Will Evans | Director, Experience Design
tel: +1.617.281.1281 | will at semanticfoundry.com
http://blog.semanticfoundry.com
http://www.linkedin.com/in/semanticwill
aim: semanticwill
gtalk: semanticwill
twitter: semanticwill
skype: semanticwill
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

On Dec 28, 2009, at 8:38 PM, live wrote:

> Not my opinion. Thousands of research $ for an at this time unnamed
> corporate shoe giant.
> But I've signed papers that precludes embellishment.
>
> On Dec 28, 2009, at 4:57 PM, Jared Spool wrote:
>
>> Brian wrote:
>>
>>> Any repercussions from the users/visitors? Trust issues? Confusion?
>>> Don’t notice?
>>
>> On Dec 28, 2009, at 4:14 PM, live wrote:
>>
>>> Yes, that completely erodes trust because the user has no idea
>>> that fruit and pear are related companies.
>>
>> I'd love to see your study data on this, because I've got a ton of
>> data that says 99% of the users wouldn't ever notice. Or, by
>> chance, is this just Your Opinion? (If so, I think it would be
>> great form if you said so instead of stating your opinions as fact.)
>>
>> In My Opinion: most users won't notice.
>>
>> It'll depend far more on the content. Why did people type in
>> pear.com to begin with? It wasn't a random act -- something told
>> them to do that. Whatever content is on the resulting page, that
>> should match their expectation. If it matches, they won't bother to
>> check the URL.
>>
>> You might want to check into the work of BJ Fogg and his studies on
>> trust and credibility online.
>>
>> Jared
>>
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help

29 Dec 2009 - 12:51am
Charles Boyung
2009

I'm going to have to agree with Jared here (I never seem to agree
with you when listening to your podcasts, but when you're writing
here I always do for some reason).

Most users are not going to notice. Also, how do you know that
people are not going to know that pear.com is related to fruit.com.
There is absolutely no way that you can know that. Maybe the users
know perfectly well that pear is a sub-brand of fruit. For example,
when we folded the various child cooking magazines into the banner
website of http://www.tasteofhome.com (check
http://www.quickcooking.com and http://www.simpleanddelicious.com),
no one really had any complaints about it, and some people even
commented that they had no idea that there was so much more content
available to them as a subscriber of one of the child magazines. We
also used all sorts of marketing and contest domains that redirect to
domains on a main site (both going to sub-pages on tasteofhome.com and
rd.com) that again posed absolutely no problems with our users.

Your example of banking sites makes a good point, but it is a very
limited case. Most sites out there are not dealing with this sort of
situation. If you are dealing with a page showing content and not a
page asking for secure credentials, it really isn't going to matter.

On Dec 28, 2009, at 4:14 PM, live wrote:

Yes, that completely erodes trust because the user has no idea that
fruit and pear are related companies.

Additionally, with all the phishing scams out there consumers are
more and more being taught to pay attention to the domain. Heck, even
my credit union is reminding us that it doesn't matter what the page
looks like, it matter what the domain says

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=48094

29 Dec 2009 - 1:42am
cfmdesigns
2004

On Dec 28, 2009, at 4:57 PM, Jared Spool wrote:

> In My Opinion: most users won't notice.
>
> It'll depend far more on the content. Why did people type in
> pear.com to begin with? It wasn't a random act -- something told
> them to do that. Whatever content is on the resulting page, that
> should match their expectation. If it matches, they won't bother to
> check the URL.

Further, why are they typing in the URL in the first place. That will
only happen if they are transcribing it from some form of print media
(or word of mouth). In which case they are going to be that much more
aware of what they are expecting to see, and so pear.com becoming
fruit.com/pear won't be an issue if the forwarded URL and the visual
display match their expectations.

Consider http://iflyswa.com and http://iphone.com for examples of
redirects which are not going to be an issue if someone types them
in. And in reverse, something like http://outcountrydance.com, which
goes to a mirror of http://iaglcwdc.org and has no "OutCountryDance"
text content.

(In fact, it may actually be more of an issue if they clicked on a
link that was supposed to go to pear.com and then redirected them
elsewhere. It's that surprise redirect from a mystery link that is
the problem people are trained to watch for, I think.)

-- Jim

29 Dec 2009 - 3:19am
William Hudson
2009

Brian -

One issue you've not asked about (possibly because you already know the
answer), but what does that kind of URL redirect do to searches? For
example, is the Google search score (which relies to a certain extent on
inward links) to fruit.com diminished because of the pear.com redirect?

Regards,

William

-----Original Message-----
From: discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com
[mailto:discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com] On Behalf Of
Brian McLaughlin
Sent: 28 December 2009 8:18 AM
To: discuss at ixda.org
Subject: [IxDA Discuss] Trust and URLs

29 Dec 2009 - 7:23am
Brian Mclaughlin
2008

Thanks to all for continuing the discussion.

The overall system is a software as a service that allows people to
buy a certain item from big name brands. By "big name brands" I
mean brands that you see everyday as you drive around or watch
commercial TV.
We work closely with each big brand to make sure the pages that are
involved are fully in sync (look and feel, functionality, etc) so
that a person never knows they have left the big brands main site as
we take them to our servers to make the purchase. Unless they look at
the URL.
We currently are using a URL strategy that looks like:
BigBrand.ourcorp.com
I am looking to change it to:
ourcorp.com/BigBrand

The reason I am looking at changing has to do with other products
that we are looking to build/make public and want to make
'ourcorp.com' the 'mother ship' URL for SEO purposes as it
relates a global corporate strategy...being able to use the power of
the big brands identity.
For example of another URL would be for a store someone could choose
from any of the big brands. This store would have its own name/domain
such as 'ourstore.com' that when clicked on would go to
'ourcorp.com/ourstore'.
There may be a banner ad that has 'ourstore.com' in it that when
clicked on goes to 'ourcorp.com/ourstore'
So once again the URL is changed from what it has been presented as.

All that is where my question comes from about trust the URL
structure.

The bottom line -
The content will be what is expected.
The page will look and feel exactly as expected.
The end goal of the page is for someone to make a purchase so they
will be asked for credit card information.
The URL will have the big brands name in it, just a matter of where.
There would be very little, if any, cases where someone would type
the URL directly in. Clicking on something or copy/pasting would be
99% of the use case.

Brian

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=48094

29 Dec 2009 - 1:22pm
Marc Resnick
2006

Most possible positions have been stated (as usual), so I will just
briefly add one more, which is always my favorite.

It depends.

Part of it is about the branding. If users know there is a
relationship between pear and fruit, they will have no problem with
it because the phishing fear will be eased. If they are redirected
to a big brand from a small one, they will also have some confidence.
The challenge would be redirect from a big brand to a small/unknown
one.

Another part is the visual design. If fruit.com has the visual
design that they expect, they may not even look up at the URL box.
But if they have some uncertainty, they may look up to see if they
are in the right place, and then get confused when they see an
unexpected name.

It seems in your case that they will see products for sale on the
page that they expected to see. So my guess is that they will not
look up. And if both names are there (pear.fruit.com or
fruit.com/pear), that should supplement their confidence enough.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=48094

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