Skip to main content

Transparency in Persuasive Technology, Immersive Technology and Online Marketing: A Narrative Review. EROGamb 2 Narrative Review.

Wang, R., Bush-Evans, R., McAlaney, J., Bolat, E., Arden-Close, E., Hodge, S., Phalp, K. T. and Thomas, S., 2020. Transparency in Persuasive Technology, Immersive Technology and Online Marketing: A Narrative Review. EROGamb 2 Narrative Review. Technical Report. Poole, England: Bournemouth University.

Full text available as:

EROGamb 2 Narrative Review.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial.



In the current age of emerging technologies and big data, transparency has become an important issue in online marketing for not only consumers’ online privacy but also their impression of trustworthiness, integrity and good conduct (Seizov and Wulf, 2020; DiStaso and Bortree, 2012; Rawlins, 2008). However, there is a lack of consensus on what constitutes or relates to transparency across domains of research, not to mention clear guidelines to achieve transparency for designers and marketers. The main aim of this review is to examine the transparency-related aspects, either elements and mechanisms or issues and risks, implemented or discussed in the fields of persuasive technology, immersive technology and online marketing. In this multidisciplinary narrative review, we explored the question of what transparency means in current research and practices by reviewing the existing literature in the three fields. Whilst the focus is on the above mentioned fields, the knowledge synthesised from this review is transferrable to a range of contexts relating to communication of information in the digital world. Literature searches were conducted in Web of Science. Two experienced reviewers independently screened titles and abstracts. For potentially eligible studies, one reviewer read the full texts. To be included, the article had to be relevant to transparency and within the field of persuasive technology, immersive technology or online marketing. Transparency could appear in various forms, given the lack of definition and discussion of transparency in literature. Relevance to transparency was evaluated based on the elements, mechanism or current practices implemented or discussed in the literature regarding the lack or support of transparency. Through this narrative review, we provide insights into the different aspects of transparency involved in persuasive technology, immersive technology and online marketing. Addressing these aspects will facilitate the users’ or consumers’ freedom and autonomy and thus contribute to their informed decision making. In summary, transparency in persuasive technology involves transparency of persuasive design and techniques, transparency of potential risks and user autonomy, and informed decision making and dark patterns of design. Similarly, transparency in immersive technology involves transparency of potential risks, transparency of system and user control, and using immersive technology as a tool for enhancing information transparency and informed decision making. Transparency in online marketing comprises organisational transparency, information transparency, transparency of data privacy and informed consent, and transparency of online advertising and social media. We summarised the recommendations based on this review to guide the design and practice of transparency. In future, more efforts should be focused on ensuring users’ awareness and understanding regarding the persuasive nature and intention in persuasive technology, and the computing process where possible, and these efforts involvesimproving related regulation and policy, raising awareness of the relationship between transparency and trustworthiness, and improving the design of information disclosure. Transparency also involves the notion that new technologies should be designed and developed to support human-computer collaboration and reciprocity. Also, visualisation could support transparency of recommendations by providing users with the rationale behind suggested items. User consent should be achieved prior to a data collection process, including the purpose of data collection, what data is collected, and how the data is stored, anonymised and removed. Information should also be made transparent regarding the potential impact or risks of the technology, including how it may interfere with users’ activities and restrict their autonomy. Benefits and risks of the technology should be given equal value in consent forms to be presented to users. the potential solution to improving transparency involves a human-centred, personalised approach to the design of new technologies. The good practices for transparency of persuasive and immersive

Item Type:Monograph (Technical Report)
Group:Faculty of Science & Technology
ID Code:36738
Deposited By: Symplectic RT2
Deposited On:16 Mar 2022 09:35
Last Modified:16 Mar 2022 09:35


Downloads per month over past year

More statistics for this item...
Repository Staff Only -