Nielsen Norman Group finds by experiment that a "casual, conversational and enthusiastic" Web-site voice leads to favorable perceptions on the part of users of a brand's "friendliness, trustworthiness and desirability".
Testing was done using fake Web sites in the insurance, health care, banking and home-security industries.
Findings of interest:
- Of the 3 dimensions of favorability, trustworthiness was key.
- A conversational tone is well received when it comes from a "serious" industry, but a playful tone is not.
- Humor proved to be extremely risky.
- Quantitative measures of favorability are unreliable.
- Best approach is to ask users prompting but vague questions in order to elicit useful qualitative data about how they perceive your Web site.