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Playful privacy settings

Brussels Design Jam
11th Dec 2018
Designing to earn people's trust provides a great opportunity to be more playful and humanise our digital services.
Product Context

Jam is an online music service that allows people to browse through their favorite artists, share music with friends and discover new bands. In order to provide people with music they love and give them relevant recommendations, Jam uses their data. Even people reluctant to share data will not keep them from using Jam, but the service won't be tailored to their tastes.

In order to provide the service, Jam is powered by some of the following data:

  • Facebook profile, for account verification purposes, and so the person's friends list can be used to recommend music
  • 3rd party music streaming services (e.g. iTunes and Spotify), whose data is used to tailor suggestions to the person's tastes

Problem & Opportunity

The cross-functional Design Jam team members challenged themselves to create a new way to help users understand and agree to the use of cookies on a specific online music service, while making it feel personalised and fun.

How might we...

...make consent more human, intuitive and personal.

Design Features
Building trust by explaining the value of collecting personal data

The way Jam asks for consent is quite ingenious! During sign up, Jam asks what kind of music service people are looking for, instead of what data people are willing to share. Using human language, Jam makes the whole process meaningful and personal in a sequenced sign-up flow that asks people about their listening preferences, and what data might be shared as a result, making the value exchange very clear in five steps:

  1. You're in control. Let's jam together to set your preferences.
  2. Recommendation. Do you prefer that we recommend music to you or do you prefer to listen to music you already know? A person can choose 'Recommend' or 'Existing Music.'
  3. Guilty pleasures - Do you like to share your music tastes with others or keep it to yourself? A person can choose 'I like to share' or 'Keep me private.'
  4. Do you prefer ads based on what we think your interests are? A person can choose 'Tailor my ads' or 'Don't tailor my ads.'
  5. Analyzing, hang tight...

What makes this sign-up special is the role people are given here to be the masters of their experience. Right from the start, a transparent relationship is established by explaining the value of entering their data.

Jam Brussels2017 WalkthroughGIF
Design Features
Using musical language relevant to the app

After moving through the sign-up flow, Jam offers people multiple profile preferences for data sharing. Instead of approaching privacy in technical language, Jam allows people to manage permissions in an everyday human, empathetic and music-related way!

  • Big Band - Permissive – 'You want the most relevant music and ads. To make sure this happens, we'll share your data with our partners.' This is the broadest level of data access and the most personalised by Jam and 3rd parties
  • Ensemble - Moderate – 'You want some relevant music and ads, but don't want us to share your data. To make this happen we will use your data ourselves but won't share it with our partners.' A person has the assurance of sharing with Jam, but not with 3rd parties
  • Soloist - Reserved – 'You want to keep your data to yourself - we won't use it to deliver ads. To make this happen you will be delivered random ads.' This is the most private setting, where both Jam and 3rd parties are restricted. The service will not be personalised

Once a profile is selected, privacy settings can be edited at a more granular level. Again, the impact of each choice on the service provided are made very clear.

Jam Brussels2017 humanizingconsent+granularcontrolGIF
Next steps

The facilitator at the Design Jam, Elaine Montgomery, Design Manager at Facebook, concluded: 'Jam really sets out to play with the people using the music app to make privacy settings more understandable and fun. Jam could quite easily revert to more common privacy language, but by speaking in musical terms it conveys the concepts in clear, engaging and simple ways.'

How might we build on Jam's ideas to...

  • Consider how we might use language in other apps to make privacy settings more clear and simple.
  • Invite participation and engagement in privacy settings by making it a conversation between people and services.