Building brand trust through imagery with senior customers



Hi there, I’ve been trying to find articles and/or posts on what type of imagery works best for building trust when it comes to senior customers – illustration or photography.

I have only one user I can base my assumptions on, and that is my mother. She is 63 and for her illustrations are for kids.

I’m looking for a more solid response. Do you guys have any idea? Maybe I’m not wording this well and that’s why I can’t find any results.

Cheers guys!


Hmm, interesting question! I don’t have an evidence but maybe we could test this! If you build a survey we could all circulate it to our parents etc.


Hi @HAWK! That is a great idea… I’ll get to it next week.
I’ll be redesign the main landing page for a financial services company I work for, and product are thinking of using illustration instead of photography, I’m just a bit concerned since our main audience is around 60 yo. Cheers!


Check out this website may be you will find something useful.


That’s great… thanks @jaisonjustus!


You’re run into one of the problems we have with study of psychology in general, and UX in particular. Most studies human-computer interaction (HCI) studies are done at universities, where the readily available group of participants are aged 18-23(ish). As such, we have a mountain of data on young adults, and very little data on other demographics.

I like @HAWK’s idea of creating a survey to get some feedback. For this particular piece, it might be the best way to get some sort of evidence for your design.


Hi Doug… that’s very interesting. Great to know.

I really spent days on it, trying different ways to put it. I’m not a native English speaker, so I thought I was missing something.

We keep designing for the future, but more and more older adults are coming into the market, and using services online. It’s the only demographic that has room to grow internet usage. We should be paying more attention. But again it’s all about availability (and reward even) and types of service.

Thanks for the input!


Guys, so I’m putting together a survey as suggest (thanks @HAWK! )

At the moment I have basic questions and all, but I’m finding difficult to collect this specific data on trust – photography vs illustration.

I’ll give a bit more context…

I work for a financial company that does online peer-to-peer currency exchange. At the moment our website is photography based, but it’s difficult to convey the idea of the service using photography, so we’re definitely missing out on some extra clicks.

We’re in the beginnings of redesigning the landing page and CPO is suggesting intensely that we get rid of all photography and redesign it around illustrations and graphics that quickly explain what the service does. Our target market is expats, older adults, majority male. So I’m a bit wary of this radical change.

Would you have any ideas on how to put together image based questions around trust? Hard not to be bias when putting it together for me. Any input welcome! Thanks!


You could do pairwise comparisons between imagery. Get your target demo to sort them based on which seems more trustworthy, likeable, or any target metric you wish.

Also worth doing some inspirational research on the branding from 40 years ago, or so, to see what was used to convey reliability and trust.

Additionally, you might want to establish the background values for your demographic. What do they prioritize? What are they willing to sacrifice? What do they want to protect? You need a good idea of their priorities.

As a stylistic observation, I’ve noticed that a move to strictly illustrative interfaces tends to be more common in services which wish to convey being up-to-date. If you look at retirement planning services from standards such as Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley, you’ll see a lot of photography inviting older individuals to self-insert to identify. Note: later, they’ll move to more of the simple illustrative components to describe processes, but initial branding seems to be photography-heavy.


Can’t tell! Your written English is perfect.

What about presenting pairs of images (1 photo, 1 illustration) that show similar things and ask something like “Which of these makes you feel more comfortable?” or “Which of these are you more likely to buy?” etc.


Hi @treyroady!
Great input thanks for that.

So I’ll do imagery comparisons (as @HAWK suggested too) and check it out. Grouped and in pairs.

Re old branding and advertisement, just found this website very interesting… MetLife insurance company used Snoopy as they mascot in the 80s actually.

Thanks for the references… will take a closer look on those and also on retirement services on countries we’re targeting.


Hi guys,
so below is a quick survey with some questions on banking habits, and photo and illustration comparisons. If you want to take a look before passing it on to your folks, please do.

Depending on the results of this survey (which is quite simple), we might create a follow up one.

Please share to all people you know, preferably over 50s:

I really really appreciate all the input!
Thanks guys :slight_smile:


Looks great! I’ll pass on to my folks now. :slight_smile:


@monikeoreilly - I can’t see the survey. Did you get everything you needed?


Hi @Piper_Wilson… I’m sorry I took so long to reply… I was on hols.

I have closed the survey already, didn’t get many replies, and I had a time frame for it. Thanks for reaching out tho!

Attached are the findings! Thanks guys for your help!!


Were you able to segment the responses by age group?


Yes @HAWK … But I didn’t get many answers for over 50 really… They tend to prefer photography, but some people have chosen illustrations. So it’s it’s ok really… We’ll got for mainly illustrations, so we can quickly and in a clean way explain at a glance what we do, and then we’ll probably AB imagery after that. Thanks :slight_smile: