Mental model disconnection

May 10, 2013

I was looking up a website for a local bathroom renovation company. This image was on all their web pages:


A cooktop and range hood just don’t fit my mental model of a bathroom, so I checked their entire website to see if they did kitchen renovations as well, and found NOTHING to indicate that they do. Their business name clearly states that they do bathroom renovations.

Which leads me to wonder WHY they have an image of a range hood and cooktop on their bathroom renovation site. Did their web designer just grab any image from the internet and plonk it there? Or do they do kitchen renos too, but they’re keeping that service hidden for now? Or did no-one who signed off on the website notice that the image doesn’t match their business name and service offerings?

The problem with this mental model mismatch is that I now don’t trust that this company would take the care required to do a bathroom reno for me (not that I want one now, but that’s not the point). Any trust I may have engendered from looking at their website text and testimonials has been reduced by this cognitive dissonance.

Bottom line: Trust is jeopardized when the images and text (and business name in this case) on your website don’t match. If your prospective customer sees that you can’t get that right, then they won’t trust you to get their job done right either.

Or maybe that’s just me…

One comment

  1. It’s not just you. That’s *exactly* the sort of thing that would put me off a company.

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