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Simone Borsci

Assistant Professor & Senior Research Fellow
Twente University & Imperial College

Simone has more than ten years of professional working experience as specialists for user research, usability, UX and human factors in a range of interdisciplinary projects. He worked in several research and industry-led projects on health and rehabilitation technologies and services, digital interfaces and virtual and augmented reality. Simone worked in the past as a researcher at the University of Perugia, Brunel University of London, and Nottingham University. From 2015 to 2018, he was fellow and co-lead of the human factors unit of the NIHR London Diagnostic MIC (formerly NIHR DEC) at Imperial College of London where he supported with human factors research the development of several innovative diagnostic tests and medical devices.
Currently, he is Assistant Professor of Human Factors and Cognitive Ergonomics at the Department of Cognitive Psychology and Ergonomics of the Faculty of Behavioural, Management and Social sciences at the University of Twente (Netherlands). Moreover, he is Honorary Senior Research Fellow for the NIHR London Diagnostic MIC at the department of surgery and cancer of the Imperial College of London in the UK.

Case Study

Practitioners suggest that trust toward systems (TTS) could be shaped by design. For instance:

  1. a product that appears (even before the usage) usable and useful is expected to generate a high level of post-use TTS;
  2. aesthetically pleasing products may affect people pre-use TTS – i.e., people tend to trust aesthetically designed product more than less pleasant product. Manufacturers may design trust as part of the experience with a product even before end-users commence using their technology or service by strategically communicating, and make visible and recognizable certain features or elements of the design over others (less appealing) characteristics.

Literature suggests that TTS:

  1. is a measurable set of beliefs;
  2. is built throughout the relationship between people and systems;
  3. depends on the cumulative experience with specific systems;
  4. correlates with the perceived qualities of a product;
  5. affects people expectations of use toward a large spectrum of systems.

People often use their experientially acquired heuristics and expectations to take decisions in a ‘quick and dirty’ way, and this may bring to adaptive misbeliefs i.e. decision taken on false or biased presumptions. Concurrently, manufacturers apply design and communication techniques to highlight certain, very appealing, characteristics and information whilst hiding other, less appealing, characteristics, thus providing a set of design-driven presumptions to the end users. This may affect a person’s decision to trust a technology and end-users may decide to buy or use a piece of technology which could appear more trustworthy than it actually warrants.
As a consequence of the design and communication techniques, users may be attracted to buy a product before its use because they believe that the system is well designed, reliable and is provided with features in line with their needs, even when this system is not trustworthy.
This dark side of trust will be the focus of this talk. By rely on the current studies on trust a definition of TTS to bridge the concept of trust and experience will be proposed. Moreover, preliminary data on an ongoing international study on trust toward healthcare device for home use will be presented to highlight the importance of trust before the use of high risk tools selected and handled by lay users.