Neesha Vakil

is an experience designer based in Austin (soon to be NYC). She designs meaningful and intuitive experiences that impact both big and small → Learn more

Glimpse

Senior Capstone – 2020
Data Visualization & Experience Design


In the fall of 2019, I started my senior capstone on cyber paranoia. Cyber Paranoia can be described as looking at the ways we negotiate the rapidly changing landscapes of digital freedom, privacy, and security. This project originated from curiosity about cyber security, a hot topic in our current era. I wanted to learn how my internet data was collected and used to illustrate my online identity.
So I created Glimpse.

Background

The way we interact with our devices has always been a
one-sided relationship. We use, cherish, and spend massive amounts of time with them – all while being completely unaware of the data being gathered from us. 

Glimpse is a website that uses metrics from the user and technologies developed by advertisers to help people understand how and why they use their devices. Using device-specific data gathered from the user, Glimpse highlights areas of potential vulnerabilities towards personal data, allowing the user to better understand the relationship with their device over time.

↳Research

To help guide my research, I first created a couple questions targeting user behavior and uncovering internet browser data:

  • What type of data is collected when we browse the internet?
  • How are individuals browsing and what security measures are they taking, if any?

    ↳Personas

    I created two personas, Mark and Sarah, to map out the target user group's behavior, narrative, and needs. This helped to build empathy towards the users, moving forward into the concept development stage.

    ↳Concept Development

    After conducting research and crafting personas, I decided to focus on getting users to recognize why they use their devices by looking at the data they actively or passively leave. With a website like Glimpse, users can learn about data security and protection that is unique to their digital footprints.

    → Features

    → Glimpse Visual System

    Combining the features, I created a data visualization system that users would be greeted with each time they visited the site. This allows a first look insight into data that has been collected. Each box within the system tackles a specific area of data collection.

    ↳User Flow + Website Iterations

    After crafting the visual system, I created a user flow to help identify how users would navigate through the website. A series of four phases were established to help create a refine the website.

    → User Flow

    → Website Iterations

    ↳Final Artifact

    Website walk through of Glimpse.

    ↳ Bibliography

    Special thanks the individuals who participated in my research, my professors and friends.

    • Englehardt, S. (2017, November 15). No boundaries: Exfiltration of personal data by session-replay scripts. Retrieved May 09, 2020, from https://freedom-to-tinker.com/2017/11/15/no-boundaries-exfiltration-of-personal-data-by-session-replay-scripts/
    • Fowler, G. (2019, June 21). Review | Goodbye, Chrome: Google's Web browser has become spy software. Retrieved May 09, 2020, from https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2019/06/21/google-chrome-has-become-surveillance-software-its-time-switch/
    • Fowler, G. (2019, July 27). Browser extensions collect and sell data with almost no oversight. Retrieved May 09, 2020, from https://www.denverpost.com/2019/07/28/online-data-for-sale-privacy/
    • Goodin, D. (2019, July 18). My browser, the spy: How extensions slurped up browsing histories from 4M users. Retrieved May 09, 2020, from https://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2019/07/dataspii-inside-the-debacle-that-dished-private-data-from-apple-tesla-blue-origin-and-4m-people/
    • Lee, M. (2015, November 12). Edward Snowden Explains How To Reclaim Your Privacy. Retrieved May 08, 2020, from https://theintercepcom/2015/11/12/edward-snowden-explains-how-to-reclaim-your-privacy/
    • Lupi, G., & Posavec, S. (2018). Observe, collect, draw!: A visual journal. Hudson, NY: Princeton Architectural Press.
    • Nield, D. (2017, December 6). Here's All the Data Collected From You as You Browse the Web. Retrieved May 09, 2020, from https://gizmodo.com/heres-all-the-data-collected-from-you-as-you-browse-the-1820779304
    • Nield, D. (2017, December 6). How to Avoid Getting Tracked as You Browse the Web. Retrieved May 08, 2020, from https://gizmodo.com/how-to-avoid-getting-tracked-as-you -browse-the-web-1821008719
    • Maeda, J. (2019, November 4). John Maeda | Forrester CX Forum 2019 San Francisco. Retrieved May 08, 2020, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B0_VjmaWrjo&feature=emb_title
      Linus, R. (n.d.). What your Browser knows about you. Retrieved May 09, 2020, from https://webkay.robinlinus.com/