Posted: 14 May 2018 3 min. read

Mobile App Trends: Building Trustworthy Experiences

Mobile apps can give benefits of security, speed and accessibility for both customers and organisations. When executed well, they can deliver great experiences and can build brand trust.

As customers’ awareness of how their data can be used and potentially exploited increased, public sentiments has begun to shift. At best, customers are sceptical of apps wishing to use their private data, at worst, they are turning them off. 

While limiting an app’s data access can reduce customer’s exposure, it can also reduce the value and efficacy of well-intentioned app delivering personalised experiences.

Brands should now make a concerted effort to build more trust through transparency and shift from treating privacy as not only an organisational risk, but also an opportunity to build trust with customers.

Embedding trust into the design process  

Building trust can begin with a design that considers customer’s mental and emotional states and the context in which they are engaging. When considering a new experience, it is important to examine a few key areas and questions:

  • Transparency:  How can we clearly convey our full intent, usage and utility of the data we are asking customers to share with us?
  • Consistency:  As our usage of the data changes, how can we keep customers informed of the purpose while giving them the opportunity to maintain control of their data?
  • Utility:  What customer data do we require and what depth of the data do we really need in order to deliver valuable services?   

While acknowledging the importance of the user experience, it is also key to understand legal and regulatory environments in order to ensure they are addressed in the privacy policy and the terms of service and during app implementation.

Developing trustworthy mobile apps.

A mobile device can transfer a significant amount of data and developers need to take this into account when designing the app’s architecture. This is especially the case for those apps that required personal data from customers. There are a number of considerations for the engineering team when creating a mobile app:

  • Security: The right security controls need to be in place to maintain customer trust through securing their data: This can include but is not limited to certificate pinning, rootkit detection, and use of the device keychain
  • Data storage:  Capturing, storing and retrieving data requires an architecture that makes sure sensitive data is not kept on the device and if it is, the data encryption and key management strategy meets the required standards.  
  • Logging and analytics: App usage is key to monitoring services and refining app behaviour. Sensitive data can be contained within this and it is important for engineers to design a solution where the storage, transmission and access of that data meets encryption and anonymity needs.
  • Third parties: Third party software and services often form part of a mobile app experience. These services need to be vetted thoroughly to streamline their approach to privacy and data usage with the mobile app’s policy. 

An opportunity to build trust

While the shift in consumer sentiment poses a challenge in creating personalised experiences, it also provides an opportunity to build trust through clearly conveying the details of the intent and the benefit of sharing data and allowing control over their own data. 

The companies who embrace this can have a greater opportunity to succeed.  

For the latest insights on data, trust, privacy, apps and more, download our Privacy Index 2019 report: Trust – is there an App for that?


Clinton Cunningham

Clinton Cunningham

Director, Deloitte Digital

Clinton is a Director at Deloitte Digital with extensive experience in the financial services and wealth sector. He has performed advisory and lead roles across program management, digital architecture, experience design and complex program delivery, utilising new and innovative technology solutions. Clinton has held leadership roles across Deloitte Digital's engineering, agile and operational functions, with a demonstrable track record of account management and enterprise solution design. More recently, Clinton has focused on the innovative impact of mobile on business and consumer across the customer experience lifecycle. Areas of interest and expertise include digital strategy, consumer wealth management, experience design, mobile apps and platforms and the lean start-up delivery approach. Passionate about people, design and technology.