Trust and Credibility Perception in E-Health: Interface Contributions

Trust and Credibility Perception in E-Health: Interface Contributions

Andreia Pinto de Sousa (University of Porto, Portugal & Universidade of Aveiro, Portugal) and Ana Margarida Pisco Almeida (University of Aveiro, Portugal)
Copyright: © 2016 |Pages: 18
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-9978-6.ch086
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Introduction

Over the past few years there has been a significant increase in e-health information consumption, being the Internet, currently, one of the most important sources to search for health information. In this scenario, it is critical to understand how people assess the credibility of a site, source, or piece of information, it’s a key task in the development of any health education or health promotion undertaking and, thus, an important area of research (Eysenbach, 2008, p. 125). Aware that Interface is not the only factor that influences trust and credibility perception this study focuses on the Interface influence to fulfill a gap mentioned by authors that are developing research in the e-Health field as Eysenbach (2008): there is a great deal of high-quality information on the Web that is published by trusted organizations. It is important for these organizations to appear credible enough to initiate a behavior change in consumers (p.125), Robins et al. (2009) presented results that showed that health information sites that are rated higher for visual design tend also to be rated higher for perceived credibility (p. 21). In the same study authors suggested that it will be valuable for visual designers to know more specifically how to employ tools that promote credibility in websites whose health information is worthy of such a presentation (p. 28). In 2013 in a study about “User evaluation of Websites” conducted by Thielsch et al. confirmed the importance of aesthetics for the first impression of a website and that importance doesn’t disappear even when the information gains importance. The interface is the materialization of all the information, and the behavior of a website.

In this context, nowadays Interface dimensions such as visual design, information architecture, social presence, interaction, and user experience are unavoidable concepts when studying information systems. This study aims to deepen knowledge on online information presentation and on the user and Interface relationships processes, proposing the study of a set of design principles for the credibility and trust, based on a proposed set of Interface dimensions.

The knowledge on the impact of the Interface in a credibility assessment is undoubtedly important in the field of e-health, being fundamental to investigate the processes used by e-health users to select information and make decisions.

This online information credibility analysis has been studied especially in the e-Commerce field, and not so deeply in the e-health area. In Stanford, the Persuasive Lab directed by B. J. Fogg et al., (2003) conducted a study that shows the importance of the design’s look in credibility assessment. Later, Robins & Holmes (2008) showed that the average time to respond with a credibility judgment is 2.30 seconds, proving that the Interface plays an important role in this assessment. Acknowledging the impact of the Interface in a credibility assessment is undoubtedly important in the field of e-health, being fundamental to investigate the processes used by e-health users to select information and make decisions.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Social Presence Interface Dimension: Allows the representation of presence, the connection and communication between individuals and organizations.

Information Interface Architecture Dimension: Concerns the organization, structuring and names of the contents with the goal of helping users find and understand the content.

Visual Interface Dimension: Ensures visual communication between the parties involved in the process communication. It is responsible for the visual materialization of all sizes that make up the interface.

User Experience Interface Dimension: Is related to the perception of use of the use or expectation of use of a product or service. Encompasses aspects such as warmth, feeling and significance of this interaction in everyday user.

Interaction Interface Dimension: Responsible for creating functionality or behavior to provide essentially interactions between people through computers or machines.

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