This year’s South by Southwest Festival may have wrapped last week, but the trends it showcased are forecast to have valuable longevity. Innovations in technology, business, and design were among the themes discussed as part of the interactive segment of the conference.
One of the sessions on tap was “Designing for Trust,” presented by product designer and engineer Michael Boeke. A synopsis of his presentation describes it as a discussion of design transparency versus simplicity.
One of his main points is that our goal to simplify the user experience often results in hidden information, which can unintentionally hinder a customer’s trust.
For example, when establishing a user-friendly website for your business, you might think less information (read: distraction) is more. If you choose the wrong information to omit however, your site might present the opposite vibe: uninviting.
At the core of his presentation, Boeke seeks to teach the factors of design that naturally establish a customer’s trust, and also his methods for creating a more honest product. He presents the areas in which he believes a designer should be transparent, and the areas in which additional control is encouraged.
The ideas he offered to conference attendees —also accessible online— hold great weight for small business owners looking to design a logo, website, or advertisement for their company. Which information should be present? What is not necessary to include?
In a nutshell, Boeke promotes transparency in regard to the following:
- People: founders, core staff, and customer service team members
It is important for potential customers to know who you are as a business owner, but also whom they will be working with once they invest in your product.
- Customers: current product users
In order to establish a core group of supporters, you need to give potential customers something to relate to. Do research on the individuals already using your products and showcase those facts to the public. Additionally encourage customers to share products with their friends. Make digital sharing accessible.
- Motives: the intentions behind your actions
When you ask a potential customer to complete a task, be it fill out a survey, enter a contest, or even contact you for more information, make it clear why you want them to do so. If it’s not necessary, give them the option to skip.
This one is self-explanatory. Never conceal or attempt to sugarcoat this information, even behind a promotion. Be transparent!
Always provide customers and potential customers with options in regard to privacy. It can be frustrating to a user when product information is inaccessible without first opting in to receive emails, liking a Facebook page, or communicating on another public forum. Don’t make such steps a requirement for retrieving basic facts about your company. You will not be successful at gaining new fans. And if they do choose to opt in, always allow them the freedom to change their mind.
Galley Creative promotes transparency with all of the design work we do. We can help you develop a strategy for sharing information about your business, based both on the needs of your audience and the product(s) you supply. For more information about redefining your brand’s identity to promote consumer trust, contact us.