Tuesday UX Trainer: Designing for trust

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You’re reading an issue of Tuesday UX Trainer, a series that teaches you something new about UX design every week.

It wasn’t too long ago that inviting strangers to sleep in your living room would be considered a risky bad decision.

Now we do it with our cars, cameras, and other personal property.

Welcome to the sharing economy.

AirBnB, like Uber, is one of the dominant companies synonymous with the sharing economy.

We’ll kick off this TUT with a story of how AirBnB founders tackled a thorny design problem: how do you get strangers to trust each other…on your new platform?

1. How AirBnB designs for trust (15 min video)

“A well designed reputation system is key for building trust”

As a long-time fan (and user) of AirBnB, it’s fascinating to hear the design challenges the founders faced early on. Here were my main takeaways:

  • While renting seemed to be the surface problem, AirBnB’s core problem was getting strangers to trust each other
  • AirBnB founders designed for trust by making strangers into non-strangers through profiles, community, and reputation
  • High reputation > high similarity. We have a natural bias to trust those who are more similar to us (and vice versa), but this bias can be offset by reputation (e.g. # of reviews).
  • Building the right amount of trust takes the right amount of disclosure

The entire talk is short, engaging and 100% worth watching. I’ll end with my favorite quote:

“The sharing economy is commerce with the promise of human connection…people share a part of themselves, and that changes everything.”

Watch the TED talk here: https://www.ted.com/talks/joe_gebbia_how_airbnb_designs_for_trust

2. The Fate of Online Trust in the Next Decade (Pew Research Article)

The recent Equifax hack has prompted renewed interest on the topic of trust in the digital age.

New research by Pew (one of my favorite research think tanks) explores the spectrum of 6 themes in online trust. I’ll share half of them here:

Theme 1: Better technology + regulation will help increase trust

Theme 3: Trust will not grow, but tech usage will rise as a “new normal” sets in

Theme 5: Trust will diminish because the internet is not secure

Explore the entire study here: http://www.pewinternet.org/2017/08/10/the-fate-of-online-trust-in-the-next-decade/

3. How to Design for Trust and Keep Users Engaged (Great Article)

Here are some extremely practical tips I picked up about how to create more trustworthy designs:

  • Consistency & congruence in a design helps users become familiar and comfortable with your brand. Great thing to look out for on user audits!
  • Make 3rd party elements look native: if you use stock assets, adapt them to your design so they look natural
  • And my favorite: Don’t let your product overshadow your people. I find myself often checking team or about pages when evaluating a product. Studies do show that showing (friendly) faces can increase trust and conversions!

Read the article here: https://www.appcues.com/blog/how-to-design-for-trust-and-keep-users-engaged-for-the-long-haul

4. How to Build Habit Forming Products (Training Course)

Nir Eyal’s design book Hooked taught me a lot about trust. By motivating your users correctly and giving them a positive feedback loop, you can inspire the kind of trust that turns into a loyal fanbase.

After watching this course you’ll see that many of your favorite apps are using TAVI, which stands for Trigger – Action – Variable Reward – Investment.

The neuroscience behind the Hook model helps you design an experience that maximizse user trust & engagement.

If you’re a nerd or product person building out your own app, check out Nir Eyal’s training here:
How to Build Habit Forming Products 

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Keep learnin’,

Oz / UX Coach @ UXBeginner.com

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