Trust empathy map

Understand your users' goals, expectations and perceived risks.

Trust is an emotional, social contract, built upon the user’s mental models that reflects his or her expectations and perceptions of risk. So, we must not only design trustworthy systems, we must also help our users realize their virtues.

It’s our responsibility to understand these mental models in order to convey the trustworthiness of our systems and to assuage feelings of apprehension arising from unfamiliar technologies.


  • 1

    Start by defining the users of your product or service. Who are the people you envision benefitting the most from this product or service?

  • 2

    Next, create a set of questions based around what you’d like to learn. Most importantly, see if you can come up with questions that look to understand user goals, expectations and perceived risks. What do they fear? Why do they fear it? etc.

  • 3

    Set up a time to speak with representative users. It’s best if you can meet them in their environment to gain a better understanding of their world. Can you meet them in their home or workspace or where they would most likely be using your product or service?