Does “Dark Mode” affect users’ trust towards E-commerce websites?
Sammanfattning: In a few seconds, after visiting a website for the first time, the users will get an overview of the website. Then, through subjective judgments, for example, on the website’s layout, usability, and color selection, the users will decide whether the website is trustworthy enough to remain on it. Therefore, it is crucial for websites and especially E-commerce websites, to create an excellent first impression in order for the customers to make a purchase. Recently, a new UX trend called Dark Mode has emerged in different web browsers and operating systems. When Dark Mode is implemented on a website, it uses a dark color palette for all screens, views, menus, and controls and uses more vibrancy to make foreground content stand out against darker backgrounds. This study aims to answer whether the customer’s initial trust will increase or decrease when Dark Mode is applied to an E-commerce website. This is achieved by using a model introduced by McKnight et al., that describes how initial trust is formed by categorizing initial trust into disposition of trust, institution-based trust, trusting belief, and trusting intention. The results of this study showed that the majority of the participants rated the graphic design of the light- themed version of the websites higher than the dark-themed version. This resulted in the participants having a lower trusting belief and trusting intention towards most of the dark-themed websites. No significant difference existed between participants that used Dark Mode daily and those who did not. The reason why the dark-themed version got a lower score on the graphic design could be because Dark Mode was implemented by software in this study. This direct implementation risks that the existing images and other design elements not being compatible with the dark-themed version of the websites. As a result, this study suggests that developers should implement Dark Mode from the beginning of the website’s development or redesign other elements on the website, rather than using a plugin.
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