Truth, Lies and Trust on the Internet by Whitty and Joinson provides a handy introduction for designers regarding how people interact over the internet. Chapters of the book cover everything from self-disclosure as part of online surveys to internet dating. The academic review covers a broad range of issues and research streams. The authors note several observations which all designers should be aware of.
One key issue is summarised in the book by the statement “We would argue strongly that truth and lies are not mutually exclusive, and that in much online interaction people are strategically managing their online identity to meet both their own goals and the expectations of the other. While doing this, they are balancing their actions with the norms for the site or community in which they are active.”
Another involves these authors pointing their finger squarely at one of our most critical modern day concerns. They note that while many professionals focus on semantics and UX, the real issue is often elsewhere in the duration and extent of the communication. In their own words, “Perhaps first it is important to recognise that in many circumstances trust does not require touch, but it does require time.”.