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Dark patterns e dispositivi medicali

Case Study
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.