ice cream, trust comes in lots of flavors. Sometimes it's
about privacy. Sometimes it's about reliability over the
long haul. And then there is trust that is based on the
feelings of security inspired by the simplicity of the
site and the availability of user support.
know what it comes down to for lots of folks out there?
Sim D'Hertefelt, author of an interesting study on trust,
states, "The feeling of security experienced by a
user of an interactive system is determined by the user's
feeling of control of the interactive system."1 Or,
in Grok-talk, they feel secure because the process is
take my word for it. Read what regular consumers have to
say about their feelings of comfort and trust when online
purchasing is a positive experience:
tells me what to do and it's clear even though I am
not familiar with computers. I feel confident that
I'll get what I want and that nothing strange will
happen. I don't mind giving my credit card number in
feel secure about giving my credit card number because
it's simple. I trust it because you see what you get.
There is nothing hidden or obscure."
here you thought security was all about technical issues
such as 128-bit encryption, secure transactions,
authentication, digital certificates and secure socket
layers. Sure, they matter, although we still don't know
how these things contribute to feelings of trust (128-bit
encryption is only good for the duration of time it can't
be hacked … and what sort of untrustworthy environment
is it that requires 128-bit encryption anyway? … you can
see how these things might work against trust).
for the customer, this stuff doesn't seem to be the
crucial issue. What they most want is to feel in control
of the online process. If they feel in control, get what
they want and are fulfilled, they are more likely to
conclude with feelings of trust and security. Just what
you want them to feel.
think about designing for trust. Put your user in control.
D'Hertefelt has these suggestions:
sure your interactive system is comprehensible.
The client needs to know what can be accomplished, how
to accomplish it, and confirmation that it actually
has been accomplished.
system must be predictable. Will your customer
know, with a reasonable level of certainty, what is
going to happen when she or he clicks on something? In
a medium lacking strong interaction design standards,
this is a challenge, but look at what is successful.
Windows works because every time a drop-down menu
appears, it behaves the same way, consistently and for
music to my ears, D'Hertefelt says the system must be flexible
and adaptable. "Not all users will execute
a task in the same way. A user will feel in control of
an interactive system if (s)he can choose the way a
task is executed instead of having to figure out how
the system requires it to be done." Sound at all
familiar? It should by now!
trust has lots of components. But it's cool to learn you
can improve trust a whole lot just by simplifying your
design and process. The math is simple: cleaner design +
clearer process = increased trust = increased purchases.
And isn't increased purchases what you're after?