However, for me there’s something intriguing around the influence of touch on trust. Does touching something help you understand it more even if that thing is virtual or abstract, such as a chart?
It seems counterintuitive - all you can physically feel is the glass. However humans have an amazing capacity to ‘virtualize’ their senses. I’ve often observed how people engage with touch-based UI. How they reach out to explore and are far more willing to try things out and experiment, to be curious. The way the UI reacts and the feedback is essential to the experience but it’s that natural act of reaching out and touching that is key. This experience can have a very real impact on the how people perceive and understand the activities that are taking place. I’ve heard how when a brokerage service shifted its customer-facing application for choosing a mortgage from laptop to iPad they saw a significant improvement for deals closed in-store, on the day. Prior to this, the company had a laptop-based tool that the broker would sit down with in front of a prospective customer and show them the various options and data on how different loans would work. When they replaced the laptop the results were astounding; they had a huge lift (30%) in the amount of deals closed in the store, on the day. I think much of this is to do with the shift in interpersonal dynamics that the iPad creates. How it changes from when an operator behind a machine reveals the results, to a person sitting with you helping you understand what you are doing. But here the big shift seems to be the fact that the customer is doing the exploring, the analysis, the ‘poking around’. They are simply more confident in what they are seeing because they are in control. There’s no ‘savvy operator’, no man behind the curtain weaving their magic and dazzling them with his skills, it’s in their hands.