4 Aspects of Designing for Trust

July 25, 2019

A few years now since the dawning of “fake news” and the Cambridge Analytica (CA) scandal, it’s a good time to assess and understand the impact of events on customer behavior in digital services and digital experiences. Designing for trust is more essential than ever for brands.
One of the big risk areas for organizations comes not from big scandals but from small and constant struggles with ongoing failures. For instance, our frustration with self-checkout counters at supermarkets. A great idea—when it works. The ability of technology to make a better future has been under question for more than a decade, and public confidence has been undermined by these ongoing daily problems. Organizations should be confronting the challenges surrounding customer data and privacy, but we also have to start addressing the gap between what customers expect and what experience we are actually delivering.
For this, we must design our products and services, our communications and conversations, to encourage a relationship that can be trusted. If we don’t, we’ll be left in the wilderness. 
To focus on what we can control—our integrity—in the area of trust, some organizations will create a C-level role for safeguarding their ethical behavior and decisions. For others, a more manageable alternative as we see it is a ‘distributed’ role where certain candidates within the organization have responsibility, individually and collectively, to ensure integrity within the organization, whatever the size.
To assist in the creation and management, we’ve created an “Integrity Framework.” This provides a basis for creating certainty as an outcome of four distinct areas of activity:

  1. Creation of integrity that is the outcome of a people-centred approach.
  2. A governance structure that delivers accountability.
  3. A clear means by which we can measure the progress and development of integrity.
  4. The provision of evidence that the organization has a level of competency in what it can do and say to customers to prove its integrity.

For instance, we need to be thinking this way when designing a brand’s voice for trust. Conversational design ought to be something we approach with integrity as a core objective. Here’s more of our thoughts on this topic.

In reality, whatever the technology you’re working with, framing integrity into the design is crucial to its success. The reward for organizations who can provide levels of certainty is the opportunity to gain advantage over other organizations who are not so able to demonstrate integrity—with the potential benefits of increased loyalty, engagement, and resulting spending.

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