When it comes to mobile security and privacy, few think of trust, but that’s what it comes down to. And we apparently want to trust each other more, but seemingly don’t. However, the sharing economy is helping us with that. It started years ago with Facebook. People sharing things about their lives sometimes with strangers, somehow knowing that they were connected by someone else they were connected to, a 3rd level connection as LinkedIn calls it. Al Barabási’s book entitled Linked explains how there is a high probability that we are all connected with less then 6 links or levels.

Trust in the sharing economy or the mobile economy and trust, go hand in hand because much of the sharing economy, i.e. AirBNB, Uber and SideCar, is being implemented and used on mobile platforms. But in order to generate and instill trust in your end users, you need to ensure that your mobileUX is specifically designed to do just that. This means paying attention to several elements in your design targeted toward mobile security and privacy:

  1. Lay it out in plain language: Don’t use lawyer talk on your mobileapps. Firstly, its too much to read. Secondly, no one trusts it. Use simple language such as “We won’t share this information with anyone at any cost, promise”.
  2. Let them know: People want to know right away if you are collecting information and what you will use it for. Tell them that their data will not only not be disclosed, but that it will be aggregated such that any individual information is not kept.
  3. Make things simple: Your application should be simple and direct. Those are the kinds of people you trust, so why not instill the same characteristics in our applications.  Don’t hide things via complicated language or hard to find menu items.
  4. Acknowledge errors: When your app crashes or has a glitch, ensure the error message indicates that something has gone wrong. No one trusts a person who does fess up to their mistakes right?
  5. Make things easy to see: Use colors that are pleasing to the eye with sufficient contrast to be easily seen. No one likes or trusts that which they can’t see well. They think your hiding something.

Elevating your mobile security and privacy design to increase and develop user trust is usually an afterthought, but I believe that it will soon be a primary UX design consideration.