A web visitor is always reserved when entering a new site. How to build trust when you only have a few seconds to do it? Trust in the web environment means several things: reliable content, data, and cookie practices that respect the visitor, secure paying methods, user-friendly navigation… The Green Thumb symbol tells you all this in less than a second: this site is safe and functions well; it does not mislead you or steal anything from you. Green Thumb invites visitors to proceed without suspicion.
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The assessment process takes days or weeks, not months
Add the certificate logo on your web site and share information on your internal and external channels
The Green Thumb certification process can start in two ways. Either someone nominates a well-performing site via the Green Thumb website, it is assessed, and Green Thumb contacts the owner of the site, or the site owner registers the site on the Green Thumb website, Green Thumb assesses it and contacts the owner. If the site in question passes the process and is awarded the GT certificate, the owner is allowed to use the certificate on the site and in their communications. A fee will be charged for using the certificate.
For the site owner, certification is extremely simple. All it takes is to sign up for the process and Green Thumb takes care of the rest. The Green Thumb certification process (patent application 235/21) is a combined effort of human and machine intelligence. Our professionals rate more than one hundred features of a site on a scale that has been developed over several years. Attributes assessed by people are for example the clarity of the text, visual aspects of the site, the logic of navigation, the reliability of the purchasing process, and the usability of the site. Each site is assessed by five case-by-case selected experts who perform their assessments independently of one another. Operating this way, we want to make sure that the impartiality and independence of assessment are 100 %.
In addition, we use algorithms to evaluate approximately 300 different features of the site. These features are related to site security, reliability, and other technical characteristics. All these elements are scored, and our algorithm emphasizes certain features that are considered essential.
The final certification decision is the sum of two perspectives: do the critical elements of the site score the minimum points and does the total score exceed 700 points of the maximum 1000 points. Site certification is valid for one year at a time. Even if the certified website is not fully renewed, it is likely to be updated and also the technical and communicational environment will constantly be changing. Annual repetition of the assessment guarantees that the Green Thumb certificate and the site live up to their promises.
A successful website focuses on its most important function. It does not try to be everything to everyone but meets the needs of the desired customer in an understandable, efficient and personal way. The sooner the customer finds what he needs, understands what he finds, and decides to trust it, the better the site is.
A website is a display window of the organization (does it attract desired customers to step in?), its sales desk (is the display enticing and suitably versatile?), and the reception of its leading expert (does it also convince you with substance).
A user-oriented approach is the basis of all web design, but the goal can easily be forgotten if content production and user interface design are not managed by stubbornly holding on to this principle. The basic elements of a user-oriented approach are clarity, the hierarchy of elements, and navigation between them. Also, the texts, images, and other content elements must be justified, interesting, and easy to understand.
Personality is a competitive advantage. The structure and look of a successful site are based on the needs of the customers and they are not copy-pasted from the template library. Unique original pictures are one of the most effective ways to differentiate and generate trust in the competitiveness of the organization. The texts must speak to the desired customer in style and manner. Complex or trivial text is a lost opportunity for interaction.
Functionality consists of elements that are not noticed when they work well but make a visitor leave if they are not. Easily adapted and functional navigation including heading and paths is the key. In the case of online shops, the simplicity and reliability of the purchase experience are crucial. The fact that the pages, and especially the images on them, load quickly and work smoothly on all major devices is necessary, but unfortunately not always self-evident.
Safety is both an experience and a set of technical characteristics. The quality and personality of the content strongly influence the perceived safety of the site, as well as whether the key people are presented on the site. A person often trusts another person or an experience of another person being present. The more unknown the organization, the greater the importance of perceived human safety. When it comes to familiar institutions, such as buying train tickets or on-line banking, the experience of security often arises above all from how well the service works, and how comprehensible it is.
Safety is also about whether the site respects the visitor's privacy or not: can the cookie settings be changed and what information and which authorizations the site requires. Whether a visitor is immediately required to join a mailing list or provide their credit card number during the free trial period.
Also, of course, one must take into account all those aspects of technical security that the visitor may not be aware of, but whose shortcomings affect the reputation of the site. These include the security of payment systems, the encryption of connections, and the storage of data.
Trust is the sum of all the above. A person believes a matter presented, decides to act, and makes purchases only when he or she trusts the site and its content.
Founder and chairman of the jury of FWA, Finland's leading website competition. He has founded several successful international web services, e.g. the wine specialized tastingbook.com, the largest in its field in the world. He has published more than 30 books and has been responsible for the design, structure, and marketing of the websites of several international companies.
Has worked as editor-in-chief, literary director, and media executive, written several books, and is a popular podcast host. His company Great Point produces high-quality online content for Finnish companies aiming at internationalization.
Entrepreneur, artist and coach. Aino works within sales, illustrations, graphic design and writing. She also does board board work and coaches companies and individuals.
Has implemented websites for domestic companies and browser-based systems for large international companies. He has implemented the Green Thumb and Finnish Web Awards websites and their backend systems.
"The Internet shattered trust between people. We need to build mechanisms to restore it"
- Founders of Green Thumb
Did you see a good site that you think deserves certification, or would you like to register the site of your community for the site certification process? Leaving the information on the form does not obligate you in any way. We will not share your email address with others or spam you. The basic idea of Green Thumb is that we represent the needs of the users and thus serve the designers and publishers of websites. Therefore, we encourage everyone to submit quality sites to the process. The Green Thumb certificate on the site tells the visitor that the site has been found safe and functions well.
The Green Thumb certification process comprises 120 different features to consider and is completely independent. If a site is awarded a certificate, we will contact its owner and offer the opportunity to use the Green Thumb certificate on the site and in communications. The fee for using the certificate is 800 € + VAT/year.