The trustworthiness of a product is a huge concern for designers and product managers. The sharing economy, e-commerce, and most financial products (just to name a few) are hugely dependent on user trust. What is considered trustworthy varies by user group, product, and industry, so it’s important that you understand your users, and what they’ll trust, before you start designing.

There are four main ingredients for a trustworthy product:

1. it needs to work
2. it needs to be pretty
3. it needs to be transparent
4. it needs to be for your users

It needs to work:

If the product has bad navigation, or limited access to information, or is slow, people are less likely to use it, let alone trust it. Testimonials or reviews can act as proof that your product works, and can also play into the social proof of preferring things that people like you prefer.

It needs to be pretty

People trust attractive people more than unattractive people, and people trust typical or common looking people more than attractive people because they’re more familiar. The same applies to products. Your product must have a pleasant and attractive design, but not be so unique that users will not know what to do because they’ve never seen anything like it.

It needs to be transparent

Content that is relevant for the user needs to be positioned prominently. User focused images, text, and language must be compelling, consistent, and error free. The information needs to be presented in a way that makes sense for the user and what they’re trying to accomplish. Be honest, upfront, and transparent in your language so it’s easy for users to understand.

It needs to be for your users

Always design with your user in mind. This means you need to get to know them. Thoroughly understanding your users is key to designing for what they will find familiar and comfortable.

This is all important because if we like and trust a product, we’re more likely to recommend it to others. More trust = more money on your bottom line.

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