Designing for trust

Crossing wide streets in Germany can look scary. But appearances can be deceptive.

While crossing German streets, I am struck by how fast the vehicles whiz by. Germans are exceptionally fast motorists. Yesterday, as I waited at a crossing, a variety of cars – BMW, Volkswagon, Mercedes and Porsche, headed straight for me to swerve along the lane at the last moment. But I also noticed how I didn’t feel scared. I trusted that each one of those speeding motorists would turn in time and stick to their clearly defined lane.

Why did I trust those motorists? Because I trust the system that keeps them on the road – the scientific road design, the difficult tests for obtaining a German driving license and the clearly defined and well enforced laws.

Good systems helps us trust strangers. They also help us build traffic intersections that look dangerous but feel safe.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s