Before the discussion on my proposal that I had with my peer Liz, I was already a little unsure of what I was creating, or what my actual outcome was to be. Through further research before the session, I had discovered or rather specified exactly what was my specific issue dealing with 18-25 year olds, and what I wasn’t the outcome to do.
It was clear through research that the monitoring and data collection wasn’t going to end or let up any time soon, especially not with the inclusion of the Internet of Things. And so rather than designing a possibility to end the monitoring on wither end, it was decided that my proposal was aiming at creating awareness of the increased privacy issues, and get round adults to spread the word or understand the Internet of Things. Thus, my proposal was to create awareness, to educate, or to inform.
I didn’t exactly have an actual proposal idea to run through with my peer in the class session. I had a few ideas floating around that I had picked out from the brainstorming session around the 5 possibilities to create change, however I wasn’t sold on a particular one. And so, in the session with Liz, I decided to quickly run through my 5 ideas–quite briefly–and figure out if a particular one caught her eye.
None really did, or they weren’t at a point to yet.
However she was quite startled and intrigued by a story I told her that I founding a news article. Basically, the gist of the story was that a young woman had extremely private and intimate personal data collected from a product of hers, when she had no idea she was being monitored. This snippet sparked both our interests, as it really portrayed the idea that public entities such as business and companies can collected very private data from us without our knowledge, in very private settings and environments. Who knew that you could be monitored through products in your house or bedroom.
Even thought I didn’t have an exact proposal, she did give me some advice and feedback on the ones that I did have, and brainstormed other ideas with me.
The first piece of information the she gave me was that she like the idea of creating awareness or informing the generation of the lack of privacy. We both felt that the monitoring wasn’t going to stop, and luckily she agreed with me. And so this now became the focus of what I wanted my system or design to do ultimately.
Due to the short story that I had told her, and the fact that she was quite shocked by the invasive nature, she felt that it could be a good idea to focus on a specific set of data to help ground the proposal or make it more emotional. While being specific like personal details could have worked, she suggested that I look into creating a proposal around the really private data that we have, such as in the story told. This notion also helped to develop my proposal as there are lots of ways that we give out private data, however most of the time we know we are giving it out. So I thought it could b interesting to focus on the times that we are unaware that we are providing private and personal data, such as in the Internet of Things.
Another piece of information or critique that Liz provided to me was to place whatever my issue or proposal was, into a real world content. Place it in an area, a time, a place, a social setting. And that way, whatever my proposal ends up to be, it will be relatable to the generation or audience the tis it being designed for. Immediately, this made me think of social media and anything online, and also of the bedroom. People always say, or at least imply, that our bedrooms are a visual expression of who we are; our interests, loves, personalities etc. So why not place my proposal in the context of the bedroom and online. There isn’t one person that I don’t know that doesn’t use their phone at least once a day in their bedroom, or doesn’t use a single piece of technology or a product daily. If I had to look around my room, I would at least see a computer, a laptop, an iPad, iPod, phone, Nintendo 3DS, Wacom tablet etc. So it’s fair to say that this setting could work effectively for my target audience.
The final piece of information that we discussed was another port of WHY? Why was I wanting to create something like this? Why were they to interact with it? Why was I thinking of a service design over any of the other emergent practices? The gist of our conversation was that I want people to care. Care about their privacy, care about what information they are putting out there, and care about who is viewing it. So along with the basis of informing the audience or making them aware of the Internet of Things, I really wanted to find a way to make them care.
This session was very helpful as I was able to get another brain on my issue. I could work out if things were working and whether I was in a correct direction, or if I had completely lost the plot. It also taught me (again!) that everybody thinks differently. What I figure could be an excellent idea, could be terrible for someone else or vice versa. I understand exactly now why there is usually user testing and prototyping along the way for all projects.
So now for my revised proposal—
Growing up in the age of Technology, 18-25 year olds have witnessed the rise of the Internet and its wide spread use. And in todays society we are being introduced to the Internet of Things, a system where all devices and products will have the ability to connect to the Internet and feed information to their suppliers and companies. However, users this age aren’t aware of the Internet of Things or its increased invasion of privacy. While they don’t necessarily care about their online privacy, they know what personal information should or shouldn’t be posted. The problem becomes the increased invasion of data monitoring with which we are unaware of in public and private spaces.
Since the internet is so ingrained in our daily lives, ending the data collection and monitoring isn’t a possibility. Instead, the change would be to create awareness and inform this generation of the increased potential for data monitoring with the inclusion of the Internet of Things. The change should get them to think differently about the Internet of Things and what products could be linked and connected, as well as how they interact with their private and personal environments. The change should start a conversation between this generation, for them to continue to spread the word.
Which brings me to my possible design action. The Unseen, or Unseen Connections (the name is pending), is a service design that aims to create change. The proposal is an augmented reality app that shows or reveals the unseen connections that products and devices have to the Internet of Things. The user could be introduced to the app through a social media hashtag that sets up the campaign and encourages them to see their ‘home’s Internet of Things’. After answering a few questions, and inputing parameters for daily use, the app then accesses the phones camera and superimposes graphics and lines over the real life image. The app reveals what devices are or could be connected, revealing to the user the possibility for data monitoring and collection. After this, the app also provides tips of ensuring your privacy in the Internet of Things, especially your bedroom, based on the results seen in the camera. From here, the user is then encouraged to continue the conversation, and spread a link or the hashtag to their friends and peers on social media. Reveal the connections, be informed or shocked, and spread the word.