Is there any evidence to suggest that a prettier more professional design results in the user trusting that site more and therefore that website results in better sales? Are there any examples of this?

For example, Marks & Spencer spent 2 years redesigning their new site – and reportedly spent an enormous £150m on it. By the time it launched, it was already outdated. Furthermore, its online sales plunged by 8.1% in the first quarter following the launch of its new website. Reference: https://econsultancy.com/blog/65244-where-did-the-marks-spencer-website-relaunch-go-wrong.

This is a small example but I'm curious if, for example, http://www.worldofenvelopes.com/ improved their design to be more appealing and professional would this increase conversion rate due to users trusting the site more and is there any evidence of this?

  • That would necessitate there being a measurable criteria for 'prettier, more professional design'. And that is very subjective.
    – JonW
    Dec 30, 2014 at 11:44
  • An improvement in design would mean a different thing, depending on the business. Having said that, making a design better looking (however subjective that might be), in my experience, is unlikely to directly transfrom into better sales, unless the changed managed to touch upon some other process or usability issue along the way. It has to be noted however, that while you might not gain more money, some other metrics might change, like the type of users who shop, etc. It really is a rather complicated issue that probably can't be answered easily.
    – kylomylo
    Dec 30, 2014 at 12:26
  • 1
    I know this has been asked before and answered, alas, I can't find the question at the moment. But in summary, yes there is evidence that quality of visual design improves consumer trust (I believe NNG had some research on that)
    – DA01
    Dec 30, 2014 at 14:10
  • @DA01 I've tried to find a similar question but failed if you could point me in the right direction of this that would be helpful
    – DLM
    Dec 30, 2014 at 17:55

1 Answer 1


Personally, a more professional looking site makes me feel like I am spending my money on quality software from a good company, because I know that if the site is good (e.g. no banner ads, modern theme, limited colors, etc.), than the company is obviously a decent organization, and it just makes me feel safer and better buying their software. Take for example sublime text's website, it is beautiful, and simple, but it still gets the message across well,cane there is NP clutter or ads visible. This helps sales because if the user finds the site, they are looking for something that you are selling, and if you look more professional than the other guys, the user will be more likely to buy from you, therefore increasing sales.

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