Upfront, users will make judgments on the online service based on the organization and aesthetic appeal of the content, levying attributions similar to f2f interactions, which will further challenge the ability to build trust. And clearly, online mediums lack the synchronous f2f interaction between parties which allows parties to look each other in the eye and gain a better understanding of who they are working with. In other words, online mediums lack reciprocity.
In an f2f encounter, these concerns can be dispelled through instantaneous feedback and dialogue. But online, if these concerns are not addressed through educational material or supporting objective evidence, the opportunity to build trust may dissipate since the relationship is one way, deprived of validation.
And many online mediums are built on speed and efficiency, designed to satisfy immediate transactional and informational needs. This particular element challenges the time required to build trust. If a user has a negative experience with ODR, the user can easily remove themselves from the process; or, find an alternative service provider.
In order to help develop trust, you have to “…create conditions that encourage people to trust” as described by Rule and Freidberg. Education is extremely important to create the foundation for building trust, as well as providing users the knowledge to use the tools as intended. However, even this is challenged by the speed of the internet and lack of patience of users.
I mean, how many of us stop and read instructions anymore? In my experience, it is a series of points and clicks until I reach my intended result. So, the software has to be relatively intuitive and user friendly, avoiding the need to spend countless hours reading and rereading instructions. Lengthy instructions will only deter potential clients from participating.
So, on the eve of Cyberweek 2010, I look forward to hearing how trust has been built in the variety of ODR tools used to facilitate online dispute resolution processes.
Colin Rule , Larry Friedberg, The appropriate role of dispute resolution in building
trust online, Artificial Intelligence and Law, v.13 n.2, p.193-205, June 2005