Just Trust Me: How to Design Trustworthy Products


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Trust and reputation play an increasingly important role in today's digital economy. General Assembly and The Bold Italic are teaming up to explore how startups build trust into the core design and function of their products. We'll discuss how design can be used to inspire confidence and convey a sense of ease.

A discussion with:

Logan Green, Co-Founder & CEO, Lyft and Zimride

Andrew Schapiro, Graphic Design Lead, Airbnb

Avery Lewis, Head of Product, Getaround

Luke Woods, Product Design Manager, Facebook

Bastian Lehmann, Founder & CEO, Postmates

Jonah Houston, Systems Designer, IDEO

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Just Trust Me: How to Design Trustworthy Products

  1. 1. Illustrations by Jeremy SypniewskiWant to get in touch? I’m on Twitter @ mrrioki.Or email howdy@magicspoon.net.
  2. 2. To start, let’s have the panelists give a short position piece on trust I’m pleased to be and how it relates to Thanks for coming. moderating on a topic near their work... and dear to my heart as a systems designer at IDEO. The cars With zimride the question with pink was how can you get two Hi. I’m The CEO moustaches! complete strangers to Logan. at zimride establish trust online AND and lyft. get comfortable enough to get in the car with each other???Everyone remembers... We’ve learned a ton It’s a very personal space. transitioning from zimride to lyft. And we’re Hey, speaking trying to of transitions... make that possible. 2
  3. 3. With lyft there’s no time to vet and get comfortable. You hear about “mullet apps”. Everything that we’re doing to help users establish trust is Hi. I’m happening in the background. Bastian. In the app you’re just seeing the tip of the iceberg. We have to We’re trying to convince think a lot you to have a magical about trust. experience by getting foodI’m German. delivered by a person German, you’ve never met before but nice. and know very little about. I’m the CEO at Postmates. 3
  4. 4. We have to convince We try to get you to you to ignore this. actually give some random person you Hi. I’m met on the internet In real time. Avery. your car. I head up product at Getaround. Trust took three pieces: 1. The Platform 2. Between Users Hi. I’m 3. Screening of Bad Luke. Actors Products are about people. They Trust is something that wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for goes hand in hand with It’s a coreI work on the product the people who use them. people and with human aspect ofdesign team at facebook. interactions. There’s no the space. way to get around trust. 4
  5. 5. How do we create trust Hi. I’m Andrew. We have a brand that relies in our users around on a lot of trust—people having very consistent I’m the graphic opening their homes to experiences? design lead at strangers. Airbnb.How do we also What was your most I was inspired to startpreserve delight, surprising revelation zimride when facebooklearning, and about designing for trust? came out with itsdiscovery? platform. CHAPTER ONE It’s about putting an identity behind people. You know, I was thinking about cities. In a way they We lost that feeling of grew faster than we were trusting our neighbors. able to handle. 5
  6. 6. This new ID/trustThe interesting thing is information layer helps It’s allowing us to us connect and do things On a more specificthat tech is no longer come together.separating us. we never would have level—ratings. done before. When Postmates started, the We implemented customer had the ability to this feature and rate the postman (courier). it’s been surprising. There was no way for courier to rate the customer. There’s a huge difference I’d really love Sometimes the customer is between the ratings that This diversity of ratings is to know the happy—they got their you give a courier and the something we don’t fully origin of that service, but the driver feels ratings you receive. understand yet. perception like they were treated like a of trust. driver or like a service person. 6
  7. 7. In peer-to-peer (P2P) Ratings get thrown “I’m giving every car I rent a 3 star rating—they’re nota big component is around a lot as a exceptional, they’re all just normal cars. I get infeeling appreciated. thing to build trust. someone’s car and it’s like my friend’s car. That’s an ok, good, acceptable car. It’s 3 stars.” And I didn’t Being treated realize how like a human. meaningless they were until a guy wrote in and said: 1 star could Knowing why allows us toWe get little to no We want to get more mean car respond and make the trustinformation from the understanding of WHY smells like in our community and the facebook nearby.5 star rating system. people leave bad smoke or people in our community ratings. guy was 15 better as a whole. Everything minutes late. has 4 stars. We haven’t solved this yet, but we want to. Net promoter score is interesting. YouIt doesn’t make sense. ...But maybe If I think about people I’m subtract out all of the things in the it does... friends/acquaintances with, middle and look at things rated reallyHow can everything and I think do I really trust highly and really poorly and you figurehave 4 stars? this person, I’d tend to say out what the net score is. yes. But, maybe I haven’t been yet in a situation that really tested the limits of how much I trust them. 7
  8. 8. Mutual reviews are importantfor gaining trust between our Another thing is having the payment systemusers. online. This ensures meaningful experiences AND trust between users offline. Accurate reviews are really important to creating trust in the community. Our most surprising revelation was about One of our biggest authenticity. design assets is What is a photography. place really like???You don’t How do weknow that make itmuch about authentic?it.We pushed ourphotographers It’s pretty easy to establishto deliver not trustworthiness in person With the remoteness of thejust beautiful By doing this we’re at a glance. internet you have to add inwork, but also creating really helpful lots of layers—how do youwork that was tools that are based in add the human back in?really accurate. accuracy, NOT just beauty. CHAPTER TWO You can do this in milliseconds. 8
  9. 9. We show a really large We have that 5 star rating The same goes for theimage of the person system. You see the number courier. He sees thethat does the delivery. A picture is very of deliveries that person did. customer’s name, rating, important. It’s important to show a level the number of deliveries. of experience. We show it crisp, we show it nice; it’s a very clean interface. When you order you I ordered through The biggest asset we have expect us to have the Postmates and the at Postmates is the inventory. inventory right. restaurant had We’re trying And we’re trying to understand stopped serving the to play this the inventory of a whole city. And being item I ordered... both ways. accurate builds trust.Getting a call right away to If we can’t solve something Signals for trusting a human in person:discuss other options far then we love to put aoutweighed any dismay of process in place that helps Take the tech out!the restaurant not having work around things.initial dish. It’s hard to do, It meant Then over time but actually a TON. we replace that very, very with a product. valuable. 9
  10. 10. Signals for trusting a human online: Online, none of that exists. We And what we found was the have to resort to secondary best way to trust the person ways of trusting people... was to meet them. ...their facebooks, their social So we started networks, their platform engagement, a key handoff. their number of rentals/deliveries/etc. Users were comfortable You’d meet the guy, hand him your key, It felt a lot less like a doing the key swap because he’d say ok, and you’d say bring it back. company and more just they knew the renter had like friends sharing cars. already crossed OUR threshold of trust. So then the decision came up to the owner.That’s actually a pretty coolexample where introducing Looking at how we There’s a hugea little bit of friction actually handle tough situations responsibilityhelped the product. that come up... there. Our site integrity At facebook team does a lot of scale 1% of great work. users is still A LOT of people. It’s work that matters. 10
  11. 11. We’re lucky to have people that are entrepreneurial— We hold some responsibilityWhat happens How do we be mindful they want to generate in helping them do a goodif someone’s of the line between free income off our site. job and helping them learn.being bullied? speech and safety and humanity? Helping them understand what actions they can take to help improve their own These are issues we’re success. still coming to terms with as a society... So there’s a role of education there, too. I think that’s the only way we’ve found to maintainTaking the tech out We had NO tech that high bar.was true for us. solution to find nice friendly people. We have all these processes, but the most important thing So we do an for our service is living in person up to this idea that it’s interview. your friend with a car. How portable is trust Splitting trust. Platform between platforms engagement is a metric and engagements? for inter-user trust.CHAPTER THREE 11
  12. 12. You don’t want themBecause of collaborative to find a least common People are taking theirconsumption bad actors denominator to get in reputations with them.are a bit of a worry. and get past the trust systems. Is there a way to bake in an The challenge with portability opportunity for people to is similar to the problems with have a second chance? a 5 star rating system. So that people aren’t just bad Everybody ends actors forever? up with a 4. Ratings are intricate. These ratings are different. Brand and context around a rating are extremelyThere are ways to splice important and you riskthe data to see what a losing that if you mergeparticular rating means. it into a unified score. 12
  13. 13. Maybe you need something Most of us, again, probably like a credit score? end up with 3.5 or 4 stars… Maybe that’s how Are you a good driver? ...somewhere life really is. in the middle. How do you rent out your apartment? There’s a lot of things.For some things I wouldwant a very strict, precise It doesn’t mean you’renumerical rating system. going to love the food, but it means that it meets the safety threshold. Like what NYC is doing with public health and restaurant CHAPTER FOUR ratings is awesome. In terms of whether I’m going to love the food or not I definitely don’t want a numerical score.What types of fear factors The literature says trustdo you face that you’re is built over lots of small, Understanding thetrying to solve and how repeatable actions. You questions and findingdid you first detect them? make an obligation and a way to address each then you uphold that. one. We launched without additional insurance but questions kept coming up. So we put together There’s a checklist: a million dollar per occurrence Are they a safe driver? insurance plan to cover every Are they a criminal? driver. Are the vehicles safe? 13
  14. 14. We had to lobby and fightInitially, there to get a law passed that We had to build trust in uswas no trust endorsed peer-to-peer first, then in the platform,in the platform. car sharing. and then between users. All messaging threads on are While you’re communicating, Research. Anticipate on our site. in that browser window you the needs of users. actually see that this person Solve for them. has a verified phone number. They’re connected to facebook. They’re connected through LinkedIn. As a society we try to We want to actually give figure out what does it as much information as mean to have so much And things that are digital possible where people content be digital? are going to be around for need it. a long time. They’re going to be indexed. They’re going to be searchable... 14
  15. 15. When things were moreThey’ll be around analog there was privacyforever. I don’t think we via obscurity. have that figured out. Analog stuff is CHAPTER FIVE hard to find.Any insights in terms ofhelping women have a We wanted to make itgood experience on clear lyft was a servicethese sharing platforms? that was safe for women. What better way to do that, in addition to all the background checks, than to have women driving? Andrew mentioned pay- Because you do not need any cash, the person thatWomen will use it as a ments, and this is not an delivers your item, you know his face, you know his name,passenger, but can also exciting example, but we you see on a map when he arrives, and you don’t need tosee themselves as a driver. have a lot of feedback, pay him anything. That adds a level of security. especially from women. 15
  16. 16. We wanted to make the We make sure the users are not bad actors. product safe for everyone. Whether you’re a man or a woman It’s the iceberg effect again—you when you go to this person’s house see the product that is above the you know that the car will be there. water and you don’t see what’s going on behind the scenes. And you know that this person will But it’s important. be friendly. There’s no margin With our Neighborhoods for error here. product accuracy was paramount. When you’re doing a Women solo travelers physical transaction with want to understand what tech it HAS to be safe. a neighborhood’s like.We highlight the accuracyof places so that people We are now officiallycan see up front whether out of time.they’d feel comfortablein that place. Good job to the panel. Want to get in touch? I’m on Twitter @ mrrioki. Or Thank you all email howdy@magicspoon.net. for coming out. 16