Ideas

Trust & Design #0

On Tuesday evening we hosted the first Trust & Design meetup at Somerset House. Trust & Design is the name we picked for the events Richard wrote about in February: we want to help people think about privacy throughout the design process, and ultimately build some tools that will help with that.

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We need new patterns

On Tuesday I gave a talk at O’Reilly Design, encouraging designers to join us as we make new design patterns for trust and consent. This is roughly what I said, minus a few ad-libs.

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Defining policies for digital rights

We’ve been working with Consumers International to create a toolkit for consumer rights policymaking in the digital age. It’s been published today to mark World Consumer Rights Day, which focuses this year on building a digital world consumers can trust.

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Europe in 4017

Following the UK’s decision to leave the EU and the rise of populist movements in France and the Netherlands, many people across the continent are starting to reconsider what Europe is and what it means to be European.

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Design patterns meetup

A year ago we launched the data permissions catalogue. The aim was to collect the established and emerging design patterns for data permissions, give them names and describe how they work.

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We’re hiring a developer and delivery manager

In our first year we helped the Co-op prototype services that give members control of data, investigated what the GDPR could mean for services we use, prototyped new consumer technology and more. We’re well into our second year now. We’re a bigger team than ever before and we’re working on bigger projects. So we’re hiring for two new positions at IF, a developer and a delivery manager.

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Sharing some process from IF

I saw this Tweet over the weekend, and it struck a chord with me. It’s something I’m very familiar from at IF: someone losing access to a service because they didn’t download their backup codes for 2FA. I don’t blame them — it’s often not clear that you need to download your backup codes. Setting up 2FA can be a technical exercise and backup codes are the last part of that process, easy to miss.

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Knowing the known unknowns

As Georgina wrote finding out how technology can improve care for people in end of life care is a complicated area. It brings together lots of different people and parts of the health service. So the improving care project wasn’t about trying to find solutions. It was about uncovering the user needs of patients, carers and clinicians for healthcare data and finding out what should happen to meet those needs. A large part of my time was spent finding the security, privacy and consent implications of better access to healthcare data.

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Working with the furthest first

Earlier this year we worked with Doteveryone and BuckleyWilliams to investigate how technology can improve care for older people with life-limiting conditions. The report goes into more detail about our recommendations. I wanted to talk more about what working with patients in the last phase of life was like and how that helped us develop some of those recommendations.

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How much does free Wi-Fi really cost?

LinkNYC is a project to bring free Wi-Fi across New York by replacing many of the payphones with Wi-Fi kiosks. I was in New York last week, but many of the Links I saw seemed to be switched off (well, the ones I noticed had blank screens).

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Mapping rights with public Wi-Fi

Hidden in the Wi-Fi settings on my laptop is a list of all the Wi-Fi networks I’ve ever connected to. Quickly scrolling through, you can start to get a sense of how many different public Wi-Fi providers there are. There’s names like BT, The Cloud and Boingo that stick out. Each will have their own terms and conditions, likely hastily agreed to while I’ve sat in the various places that public Wi-Fi is available in London.

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Understanding the things we use

We’re increasingly surrounded by things that connect to the Internet, from the smartphone that sits in my pocket to the PlayStation in my living room. But I regularly find myself unsure about what these products are doing, whether they’re up to date, secure or working as they should. Even appliances like fridges, boilers and washing machines are becoming more connected and complicated, expanding the list of products I have to secure and maintain.

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Controlling who sees our personal spaces

Earlier this week, Phil introduced our thinking around our new, emerging digital rights. We made some prototypes that show the possibilities new legislation will create for people that design products and services, to evoke a response to the new rules that goes beyond just complying with them. One of my favourites, is home privacy settings.

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Designing for new digital rights

Our digital rights are changing. In May 2018 the European Parliament will introduce the General Data Protection Regulation. The GDPR aims to improve how services handle our data online. With these new rights come new opportunities, which is why we’ve published a collection of prototypes and product sketches responding to them.

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Living in a networked city

Our homes and cities are becoming increasingly connected, by 2017 there will be free public Wi-Fi hotspots on London streets and by 2020 every house in the UK will have a smart meter. We’re working on a research project with Meredith Whittaker at Google Open Research to understand how these new technologies change our rights, and what the security and privacy implications of those changes are.

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Giving evidence to a Parliament Committee

A few weeks ago I was invited by the Scrutiny Unit of Parliament to give evidence on Part 5 of the Digital Economy Bill, a section that addresses digital government. Yesterday afternoon I gave my evidence to the Committee. You can watch the video on parliament.tv, it’s at 15:50. I wanted to publish some of the notes I took in to the session, partly because it’s good to be transparent, and partly because there wasn’t really the time to unpick the implications of some of this in the time we had.

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How the history of consumer advocacy informs its future

Consumer advocacy organisations need to adapt so they can deal with the problems arising from a new generation of connected technology. The work Sarah, Georgina and I shared over the last few weeks suggests some ways that could work. But to understand why it’s so important they adapt it’s useful to look at their role in the past.

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The future is mundane

As we were working on The Log, a design probe from our project on the future of consumer advocacy, I kept coming back to Nick Foster’s talk on The Future Mundane. It’s a talk about industrial design futures and how not to do them. There are a few things from the talk that particularly stick out to me, so I thought I’d write about how they influenced what we made.

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2025: Future Forecasting

In May, Sarah, Cat Drew from Policy Lab and I made a collection of speculative props for 2025: Future Forecasting, an exhibition about key global trends at London College of Communication.

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Knowing more about the things we buy

As part of our work exploring the future of consumer advocacy, we’ve been thinking about how we build trust with the things we buy. This is becoming more important as our old models for understanding quality and functionality of things get increasingly out of date.

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How to show change in products

As part of our work investigating the future of consumer advocacy, Ian, Georgina and I built a design probe to look at how the things a person owns could communicate change. We’ve called it The Log, and it shows one way we might make it easier to see how the connected devices in our homes are working.

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Making sense of paper

Paperfree is a design probe to explore the question “How can the Co-op be trusted with personal data?” We were looking at paperwork, experimenting with a prototype that could interpret it, organise it and make it searchable. For this to happen though, a computer needs to make sense of images.

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Get in touch

If you’ve got any questions or fancy a coffee, get in touch