It’s not entirely clear how robust his analysis is but it is based on experience with one of his company’s sites, tightsplease.co.uk, and it highlights what has largely been an unnoticed change; the increasing importance of the written word. As Duncombe observes, in ecommerce, 99% of communication is by written word and credibility is vitally important.
Professor William Dutton, Director of the Oxford Internet Institute is quoted: “In these instances, when a consumer might be wary of spam or phishing efforts, a misspelt word could be a killer issue.”
Humans operate on signals and inferences: the smell of fresh bread and the crisp, green vegetables at the entrance on the supermarket tells us this is good wholesome food – buy lots; the lavish, art-speckled offices of city law firms tell us that the advice we will pay for is of the highest order. You can’t smell the leather upholstery or squeeze the firm, ripe peaches on the web so your sensitivity to other signals – like spelling – is heightened.
The article reinforces Richard Harper ‘s observation that “the written word will become even more powerful and central to the ways we articulate ourselves” in the future.