Back to Showcase Showcase

The design of trust

With uncertainty and change, our focus and values as a society are beginning to shift. As we move from self-actualisation to the necessities of safety and security, trust becomes the crucial underwriter for society. What does this mean for products and services of the post-covid world?

The design of trust

Value will change in the post-covid world

We have seen value created and destroyed overnight — the US travel industry is projected to lose $500 billion in 2020, while Zoom watched their user base swell from 10 million to 200 million within 3 months. Toilet paper has become hot property just as the price of oil dipped below zero.

 

With uncertainty and change, our focus and values as a society are beginning to shift.

As we move from self-actualisation to the necessities of safety and security, trust becomes the crucial underwriter for society.

What does this mean for products and services of the post-covid world?

Maslows hierarchy of needs

We need to start designing for trust

Value will shift towards products and services designed on a foundation of trust. In the context of this new paradigm, two themes arise:

  1. Power of the collective to solve issues of scale. Trust brings people together. Products built on a foundation of trust enable scalable behaviour change and collective impact. If we are to tackle issues such as the global pandemic or climate change, we need to harness the collective power of society.
Covidsafe
Navigating the global pandemic will come down to trust and power of the collective.

Trust is a fluid and fragile relationship

First, we need to understand what is ‘trust’?

 

Trust is:

  • A choice to enter a relationship. When we choose to trust, we are choosing to be vulnerable and to take a risk.

 

Trust starts with empathy

Trust and reciprocation are intertwined in a feedback loop — reciprocation drives trust, and vice versa — one without the other results in a breakdown of trust.

 

Our ability to trust and reciprocate is determined by our ability to take perspectives. Cognitive scientists call this the Theory of Mind — a closely related cousin of empathy.

Our ability to consider the thoughts and feelings of others is the key factor that enables us to forgive and coax others to continue the cycle of trust.

At its core, trust is about empathy — to build trust, we need to consider what others think and feel about us.

Trust and reciprocity
Trust starts with empathy

Three drivers that build trust

We need to think about how other people see our:

  1. Perceived ability. What do people think you can do? Can you really do what you say?
The three drivers of trust
The Three Drivers of Trust — what would convince you to take the leap?

Trust builds in stages

Zooming out to a higher resolution, we begin to see trust as a cyclical relationship with distinct stages and needs.

Trust economy
  1. Perception: first impressions matter. Transparency and reputation systems enable you to create the right perception of your product — this lays the foundations for trust building

 

Trust needs alignment

Aligning your ask with your user’s level of trust is the final key. A hierarchy of trust exists — basic trust needs must be met before a relationship can progress to higher levels of trust.

If your product asks too much of the user, you’ll scare them off before you have a chance to build the relationship.

Gauge where your users’ current level of trust is. Don’t make demands for high levels of commitment until you have addressed the most basic trust needs.

Trust hierarchy
Hierarchy of Trust Needs

Conclusion

Value is changing. Products and services built on a foundation of trust will be the ones that bridge trust gaps, solve issues of scale and unlock value in the post-covid world. To start designing for trust:

  • Understand that trust is a fluid and fragile relationship

In my next blog, we’ll look at applying these theories of trust as a framework for designing products and services in a world of shifting values. Stay tuned!

 
Share
Ron Tong

Ron Tong

Ron is a multidisciplinary designer combining service, experience and behavioural design to drive innovation and solve problems for society. Ron is passionate about helping organisations understand systems and orchestrate complex experiences.

More case studies

BLOG | Karl Stepan

ProdOps — Creating an environment for successful products

Leveraging the concept of ProdOps could lead to greater products, more satisfied customers and greater market penetration.

Read More
BLOG | Tom Hacon

How to create a learning organisation

Aspirationally it’s a great sentiment. Tragically it’s a sentiment that often forever remains an aspiration, despite numerous attempts at change being made.

Read More

Say hello

If you’re ready to unlock your digital advantage, let’s chat.

Sydney, 46 Market Street, Sydney 2000
(02) 8415 7111

Melbourne, 120 Spencer Street, Melbourne 3000
(03) 8692 9950
getintouch@hypothesis.co

Industry news, business updates and insights

Sign up

Thank you for your interest - we will be in touch soon.

Say hello

Thank you for your interest - we will be in touch soon.

Thank you for contact