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Taking a layered approach to personal data

Dublin Design Jam
11th Dec 2018
Helping people understand how their personal data is used in an app, can add many steps to the interface, but it's also an opportunity for people to feel informed and in control.
Product Context

Kin is a photo sharing social network for your closest friends and family. In order to provide the service, Kin is powered by some of the following data:

  • Location data, to tag and map photos
  • Facebook profile, for account verification purposes, and so the person's friends list can be used used to make sharing easier
  • Permission to access the camera and photo library on the device, for easy upload
  • Meta-data, which is scanned to serve relevant ads

Problem & Opportunity

For services based on displaying and sharing personal content - such as text, photos and videos - being transparent about how the content is used is of utmost importance.

The cross-functional Design Jam team challenged themselves to consider how people could have far greater control over each piece of content they share, with greater visibility into the meta-data.

How might we...

...explore new motion, gestures and controls for privacy choices

Kin's team prototyping

Design Features
Adding 'clicks' to build trust

When it comes to managing data privacy settings, especially upon sign-up, people can blindly skim through privacy information and options as fast as possible. Kin, on the other hand, makes you engage with it by breaking it down into simple, visually compelling stages. It asks for four pieces of data during sign-up:

  • Access to Facebook Friends to make sharing easier
  • Permission to access the camera and photo library on the device, for easy upload
  • Location data, to tag and map photos
  • Consent to scan metadata to serve relevant ads in the app

Instead of bundling these data requests together into a single consent, which can feel both overwhelming, Kin takes you through each request individually, explaining the value exchange for each. This may seem counterintuitive when product teams can believe that too many stages in the interface are detrimental to sign-up; however, Kin gets around this by making the interaction both engaging and visually compelling.

Through the use of simple, Tinder-like swipe functionality, people can more clearly understand the consent they're giving at every stage, and can get as much or as little information as they wish, with the option to swipe down if they want to know more. In this way, people have a better idea of what they're signing up for, rather than leaping into the dark.

Kin Dublin2017 Walkthrough Part 1
Design Features
Putting people in control of every piece of content

For every photo on Kin a person can view and control data shared alongside it: the picture's location, the friends with whom the picture is shared, as well as whether the information can be used to provide targeted advertising.

While viewing a photo on the album page, people can see the relevant meta-data that's associated with it at the top of the interface. The icons become more visible, letting the person know which data is connected to it. Touching the photo reveals the meta-data in more detail and provides controls.

Kin Dublin2017 Walkthrough Part 2
Next steps

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

  • Optimise for 'understanding' over reduced steps in the UI?
  • Layer information from 'top line' to 'deep-dive' across the interface?
  • Give people more granular control over the personal data they share?